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Georgia: fourth day of protests

Thousands of protesters are continuing their demonstrations in front of Georgia's Parliament building in the capital Tbilisi. They are calling for President Saakashvili's resignation and early parliamentary elections.

It is the third official day of rallies in the Georgian capital, though some of the protestors have stayed at the site for the fourth day running.

Protestors say they want change as the government is unable to settle social and economic issues facing the country.

So far, there was no official comment made by President Saakashvili.

What sparked protests?

Georgy Khaindrava
Georgy Khaindrava

The rally is the second of its type in as many months. In September, 10,000 protestors took to the streets after former defence minister Irakly Okruashvili was arrested on corruption charges, after accusing president Saakashvili of a string of crimes.

Okruashvili eventually withdrew the accusations, before being released on bail.

The former minister left the country on Thursday and the Georgian government says he is receiving medical treatment abroad, though his supporters deny this.

“The government will have to fulfill the demands of its people and the opposition – and that is civilised democratic elections. I think the party of Saakashvili has had its day in the political life of Georgia,” stated Georgy Khaindrav, one of the Georgian opposition leaders.

Businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili has provided financial support for the opposition and has been using his television channel Imedi also.

The opposition, made up of 10 parties, appear to be united over the call for early elections, but traditionally they’ve been ideologically divided.