Tens of thousands of supporters of Bidzina Ivanishvili have taken to the streets of Tbilisi ahead of Monday’s vote.
A billionaire businessman, Ivanishvili had been trailing President Mikheil Saakashvili. But polls show his popularity has surged following mass protests last week over torture in Georgia’s prisions.
“This government and the President should leave the country as soon as possible, and peacefully. They should give people a chance to make their own choice. People have in fact already made a choice and you will see that in their vote”, this man says.
Saakashvili, who came to power in the bloodless Rose Revolution of 2003, gathered his supporters for a mass rally in Batumi.
His government is reeling from a huge national outcry following the broadcast of videos showing physical and sexual abuse by prison guards. Two opposition channels, one owned by Ivanishvili, aired the footage.