Tens of thousands demonstrated in Georgia on Friday to demand the prime minister’s resignation. The reason is anger over the government’s failure to secure Georgia’s status as a candidate country for EU membership.
The day before, EU leaders had promised to put together a candidate for Ukraine and Moldova. Georgia promised to place the candidate only when certain requirements are met. On the other hand, the European Union recognizes the “European perspective of the country”.
The demonstrators sang the European anthem and waved Georgian and European Union flags outside Parliament. Pro-democracy groups, with the support of the opposition, were behind the demonstration.
“We, the Georgian people, demand (Prime Minister) Irakli Garibashvili to resign and form a new government to implement all the reforms required by the European Union,” said Shota Degmalashvili, one of the organizers, and continued:
We give the government a week to meet our requirements!
Demonstrators do not trust the government’s willingness to implement reforms, accusing it of minority rule. The former leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, Bidzina Ivanishvili, is suspected of ruling behind the scenes.
A new mass demonstration is scheduled for 3 July.
Among other things, the EU demands an end to political polarization in Georgia, more freedom for the press and courts, and implementation of electoral reforms.
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