TBILISI, DFWatch–Mikheil Saakashvili’s party plans a rally on April 19 to demand that the country’s western policy continues.
The Secretary General of the National Movement says ‘the vague foreign policy’ by Ivanishvili’s government puts the country in danger.
Vano Merabishvili said Thursday that the party calls on ‘Georgian patriots who care for the fate of the country’ to come to the center of the capital on April 19 and take part in the demonstration.
“We need to show the current government that Georgia shouldn’t return back to the old time, when there was no democracy and freedom,” he said.
Merabishvili, who was a powerful interior minister in Saakashvili’s government, says that ‘people’s will is firm; Georgia’s future is in the West and not in Russia.’
The Georgian Dream coalition formed by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili a year ago claims that they are faithful to the western course and they will bring Georgia to the NATO and EU’s doorstep sooner.
Both sides therefore seem to be competing in being the most western-oriented. Earlier, the National Movement demanded to write into the constitution that no government of Georgia will betray the country’s western course. Georgian Dream agreed to this; but their opponents continue criticizing the coalition for being pro-Russian.
Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze says the idea of holding a rally to demonstrate against the country going in the wrong direction makes her smile, because, she says, Georgia is going in the right direction in regards to foreign policy.
“The European way is the only way for us, and a day hasn’t gone by while I have been minister that this hasn’t been proven both in words and in actions,” she said, adding that there is nothing special in any political force calling people to participate in a rally, because ‘Ivanishvili’s government is a guarantee for expression of opinion and position and that’s why this force came into government.’
Georgian Dream does not plan to interrupt the rally and promises to provide security that day.
“This is the responsibility of the government, and we will ensure that the rally is held peacefully,” commented Tina Khidasheli, a member of parliament from the coalition.