Georgian Dream’s Assembly Finished without Incidents
Maka Malakmadze, Adjara
On August 5, Georgian Dream’s assembly in Batumi Square of Miracles finished without incidents. More than 30 000 people gathered near the Alphabet Tower by 7:00 pm. Despite heavy rain most people remained on the place till the end of assembly.
The assembly started 10 minutes later than it was scheduled and lasted longer than previous assemblies of the Georgian Dream in the regions of Georgia. Despite rain, the assembly lasted 2 hours and most people did not have umbrellas.
Coalition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili opened the assembly. Initially, he spoke about the previous day incident in Beshumi and called President Saakashvili a coward person. “Let Saakashvili look at us and see how many of us are gathered here! Let this coward man look at us carefully; he cannot speak with his people directly, he is brave only in presence of his zonder brigades and gives stupid performances! I thought nothing could surprise me because he has dared everything; but I could never imagine what he did yesterday. I wanted to arrive at Shuamtoba Holiday and congratulate people with it… They brought employees of district administrations from various regions to celebrate the day. There were police officers dressed in civil clothes – they blocked our way and did not let us go up the mountain. There was an incident. We did our best to avoid serious controversy.”
Ivanishvili spoke about Saakashvili’s accusations against him as if Georgian Dream’s leaders dream about soviet time. He said the National Movement resembles its soviet predecessor very much. Look at Saakashvili and his government and you will find exact similarities between them and soviet authority…Saakashvili is shouting everywhere – I am not going to transfer the country to anybody else and allow him to destroy the country. I do not know leader of any country who could so publicly declare that he is not going to resign and transfer the authority to people. I do not know any authority who could say it publicly except soviet government.”
Bidzina Ivanishvili spoke about elite corruption too. “According to official data, 8,5 billion USD was directly invested in Georgian since 2003. This investment was to create at least 170 000 new working places for our 170 000 citizens in the country. It is unbelievable but everything happened in the contrary! And it happened only because Saakashvili’s government did not reasonably spend that money; its big part was spent on elite corruption.”
Other coalition members - lawyer Media Vasadze, painter-Kako Dzneladze, actor Zaza Papuashvili and Sulkhan Glonti – replaced Ivanishvili on the scene.
Human Rights Center interviewed several participants of the assembly. They said they hope for positive changes.
Eter Beridze, resident of Khelvachauri district: “Changes are necessary in the country. It is impossible to live on in similar situation! There is extreme poverty. There are no jobs and we turned into slaves in Turkey. All young people go there to earn their living.”
Zurab, a resident of Kobuleti (he did not say his surname): “People are scared. If you have a different opinion, you cannot openly demonstrate it because you might face problems with police – they will either plant drugs or make your life unbearable otherwise. There is injustice in the country and their reigning must end. I want to live in a normal country.”
Ednari, Batumi resident, retired person (he did not say his surname): “I do not have much time left but I am here for the better future of my grandchildren. Georgia is not democratic state; it is still soviet country. Only this man can help us so everybody should support him.”
Bera Ivanishvili sang several songs for the Georgian Dream’s supporters in Batumi. At the end of assembly they announced place and date of the next assembly – they will go to Rustavi on August 19.
Representatives of the Batumi office of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association observed the assembly. “We did not observe any violations”, Nino Tavlalashvili, deputy chair of the GYLA’s Batumi office said.
Batumi majoritarian candidate from the Georgian Dream Murman Dumbadze was satisfied with the assembly. “It was a model of public elections. The number of people demonstrated number of our supporters. This assembly will also defeat fear of those people, who still keep neutral position.”
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