Ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party MP David Seergenko says that ‘many people’ attended the United National Movement (UNM) opposition party rally in central Tbilisi yesterday, but the demonstrators there were ‘much fewer’ that at the 2012 rally organised by the Georgian Dream coalition, the same year the GD defeated the nine-year-rule of the UNM under former president Mikheil Saakashvili.
At the recent UNM rally the demonstrators from Tbilisi and regions were demanding the release of Saakashvili, who was detained in Tbilisi on October 1, a day before municipal elections.
Sergeenko also said that the arrest of former presidents is not rare abroad.
According to media reports about 40,000 individuals attended the UNM rally yesterday.
Saakashvili, who is a citizen of Ukraine and chairs the Executive Committee of the Ukrainian National Reforms Council, wishes to be released from prison before municipal election run-offs on October 30.
The former president was convicted in Georgia in absentia in 2018 and was sentenced to six years in prison for abuse of authority.
He has also been charged with four other offences related to the illegal seizure of property, embezzlement, illegal rally dispersal, and illegal border-crossing.
Saakashvili claims he returned after eight years in politico exile to help his UNM party to replace the Georgian Dream.