Georgia’s political opposition have called for a campaign of civil disobedience to oust the country’s president Mikheil Saakashvili from office.
The threat came as tens of thousands of protesters gathered outside Tbilisi’s parliament for a second day calling for Saakashvili to stand down. This opposition supporter said:’‘He was brought peacefully to his position and we want him to be taken away the same way, peacefully. We do not want any violence, we want him to get out of Georgia.’‘ While critics accuse him of stifling reform and plunging Georgia into last year’s brief war with Russia, Saakashvili has urged dialogue. ‘‘I think today, yesterday, part of the Georgian population raised their voices. We listened and we heard. I want therefore to respond. I want to again reiterate our offer of a dialogue on strengthening our democratic institutions and I want to say that we mean it, this offer is real,’‘ the Georgian President said. Despite largescale opposition Saakashvili has rejected calls for him to quit, and while opposition parties have insisted they will not use violence to achieve their goals fears remain tensions could spill over into unrest. So far around 20,000 anti-Saakashvili campaigners remain outside Georgia’s parliament with hundreds having camped out overnight.