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Traditionalists furious at president for rejecting marriage referendum – vow massive rallies

by | Aug 11, 2016
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Traditionalists demonstrating in Tbilisi to defend family values May 17, 2014. (Interpressnews.)

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Alexandre Bregadze. (Interpressnews.)

TBILISI, DFWatch–The group of traditionalists behind the referendum bid to define marriage as a union of a man and a woman are fuming at the president after he shelved their proposal.

The activists claim President Giorgi Margvelashvili’s decision was unlawful and want to appeal it in the courts. The traditionalists have also begun collecting signatures demanding the president’s resignation and warn that they will organize massive protest rallies.

August 9, Margvelashvili said he was not going to call a referendum about narrowing the definition of marriage in the Constitution. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and some opposition parties supported his decision.

The next day, the people behind the referendum proposal held a press conference. Alexandre Bregadze, head of an organization called The National, said that they have several ways to continue their fight. One is to set up coordination council with several parties and organize protest rallies.

They will also collect signatures demanding resignation of the president and appeal to court.

Earlier, the initiative gathered more than 200,000 signatures as required by the Constitution to achieve a preliminary approval by the Central Election Commission.

Bregadze told DFWatch that the group will begin legal action to repeal the president’s decision. Head of the group will be Zviad Tomaradze, who was one of the members of initiative group.

They claim to have an agreement with four or five political parties, but do not specify which parties. But it is neither the National Movement, the Republican Party, the party of Paata Burchuladze nor the Vashadze-Japaridze bloc called New Choice.

“We offered Georgian Dream to cooperate as well. You cannot call such an uprofessional person a president. We have to force him to resign,” Bregadze says.



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