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Georgian protestors' new pitch to oust Saakashvili

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Georgian protestors' new pitch to oust Saakashvili

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Protestors who want Georgia’s leader Mikheil Saakashvili to resign have set up camp outside the presidential residence. On the sixth consecutive day of demonstrations, numbers have dwindled from the 60,000 seen at the outset last week. But protestors say they will not go until the president goes.

One opposition leader said: “We want Saakashvili to resign. That’s all. We won’t let him feel safe in this residence, and if he moves somewhere else, we’ll set up camp there too.” The protestors accuse Saakashvili of being too authoritarian and not doing enough to help the poor. They are also furious at his handling of last summer’s war with Russia. On a visit to a hospital the President said: “Russia thought things here were unstable. But Russia can not carry out a full-scale provocation. Recent days have shown that no matter how much money is spent, or whatever they do, Georgia is stable and it’s impossible to destabilise it.” Despite the demonstrations, Saakashvili still has a strong power-base and has promised to stay in office until the end of his current term in 2013.