Georgian opposition to stage indefinite protests from April 9

photo_verybig_1019382TBILISI – The united Georgian opposition will begin indefinite peaceful protests from April 9 to demand the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili, an opposition leader said on Sunday.

“The protest action, which is beginning on April 9, is a nation-wide protest aimed against the Saakashvili regime and intended to change power in a constitutional way. The action will be halted only when the power of Saakashvili comes to an end. We’ll force him by a peaceful but nation-wide protest to resign,” said Eka Beseliya, leader of the For a United Georgia party. 

Saakashvili has ruled out early presidential or parliamentary elections being held in the spring of 2009, stressing that 2008 saw early presidential, parliamentary and local elections, while in 2010 a new round of local elections is due to be held.

The U.S.-educated president has sought to integrate the ex-Soviet state into Europe and to curb Russia’s influence in the country, since coming to power on the heels of the peaceful “rose revolution” in 2003.

Saakashvili has gone on record as saying he will not run again after his second term expires in 2013.

Georgia’s opposition has demanded Saakashvili’s resignation, most recently blaming him for the August war with Russia over South Ossetia.

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