Rally underway in central Tbilisi, protesters waiting for Saakashvili’s decision on transfer to military hospital

  • “If not for this fight, no statement would have been made today. This is what the Georgian Dream [ruling party] wanted...They were looking for a way to use force and put Mikheil Saakashvili in a worse position,” the UNM head Nika Melia said. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge.

Agenda.ge, 19 Nov 2021 - 18:21, Tbilisi,Georgia

The opposition United National Movement (UNM) party is holding a rally in central Tbilisi in front of the parliament building waiting for ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili’s decision whether or not he will agree to be transferred to Gori military hospital as the Georgian government offered earlier.

The former president is on his 50th day of a hunger strike. 

Justice Minister Rati Bregadze pledged that Saakashvili’s life and health will be ‘maximally ensured’ by the government if he accepts the offer to be transferred to Gori hospital.

The UNM head Nika Melia stated that the protest rally will be held until Saakashvili is transferred from Gldani No. 18 prison where he was brought against his will on November 8. 

He praised the supporters of the party, noting that their ‘non-violent fight’ has led to the international community’s support.  

If not for this fight, no statement would have been made today. This is what the Georgian Dream [ruling party] wanted...They were looking for a way to use force and put Mikheil Saakashvili in a worse position,” Melia said.

He also said that if not for the government’s offer to transfer Saakashvili, they would have chosen a ‘very vocal albeit non-violent protest.’

Such a fierce protest, which, without exaggeration, I tell you, has not been seen in this country for 33 years,” said Melia.

Former opposition mayor candidate in Poti Gigi Ugulava has also addressed the supporters at  the rally, saying that ‘our main task, as well as the historical task of this country, is to prevent a catastrophe.’

He vowed that they will not hold the rallies near the hospital after Saakashvili’s transfer. 

We will fulfil what we have promised. No rallies will be held near where Saakashvili will be transferred,” Ugulava said. 

Georgian Public Defender Nino Lomjaria stated yesterday after she met the ex-president following his faint in front of his lawyers, that she asked Saakashvili to consider the possibility of transfer to Gori military hospital, while today she called on him to stop the hunger strike. 

Droa opposition party leader Elene Khoshtaria who has been on hunger strike for 17 days has also stopped the protest following the Georgian government’s decision.

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