Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili (file photo)
Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:55PM GMT
Over 1,000 Georgians have staged a protest in the capital city of Tbilisi to demand the immediate resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili.
Protestors gathered outside the Georgian president’s residence on Sunday, asking him to hand over executive power to the country’s parliament speaker.
According to the Georgian constitution, Saakashvili’s tenure will finish at the end of his five-year term on January 20, 2013. The country’s next presidential elections, however, are slated for October 2013.
The protest follows a petition circulated by the opposition groups and non-governmental organizations, which bears more than 1 million signatures also calling for Saakashvili’s exit.
About 50 NGOs and political organizations joined the petition, which says “radical measures” will be taken if the president refuses to step down.
“Under the constitution of Georgia, you, President Mikheil Saakashvili, lose your presidential powers starting from January 21, 2013, which is fully in line with the Georgian people’s will and is confirmed by Constitution of Georgia and signatures of the majority,” the petition read.
Under the 2010 constitutional amendments, the president’s power will be transferred to the prime minister, chosen by the lawmakers of whichever political party that wins the elections, at the end of the presidential tenure.
The 44-year-old Saakashvili’s Western-backed ruling party lost Georgia’s parliamentary elections to the rival Georgian Dream bloc, led by billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili in October 2012. [Another indication that the West is losing control; Saakashvili is Western educated and has been nothing more than a tool of empire as have been the many ‘Color’ Revolutions we have read about.]
Saakashvili’s party has dominated Georgia since the 2003 ‘Rose Revolution.’