TBILISI, DFWatch–The United National Movement (UNM) party of President Mikheil Saakashvili will be subject to intense scrutiny today as it launches this year’s election campaign outside the old parliament in Tbilisi.
Two organizations have informed that they have observers in the field monitoring the former ruling party’s mass gathering.
UNM has been preparing for this day for about three months, and its representatives in parliament took leave from work the last two days in order to take part.
Party secretary and former prime minister, Vano Merabishvili, said on February 22 that the Ivanishvili government is pro-Russian and that the main aim of the rally is to show that the Georgian people does not want to return to the past. The slogan of today’s gathering is ‘European Choice’.
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) and Georgian Young Lawyer’s Association (GYLA) have observers in place in Tbilisi and in regions, where there also will be demonstrations, to scrutinize the process.
Some supporters from the regions have come to Tbilisi, and were waiting for the rally to begin at 16:00.
GYLA’s press service said that the preparations for the rally have been quite calm and no serious violations have been detected yet.
UNM representatives suspected that their supporters would have problems with getting to the demonstration. But according to GYLA, people who are coming from regions are not having any difficulties with transportation.