Georgian opposition supporters flood capital

Print version
Sept. 29, 2012, 4:54 p.m. | Russia and former Soviet Union — by Associated Press

A Georgian demonstrator carries a state flag during a protest rally against prison abuse in Tbilisi, Georgia, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2012. Street protests against the brutal abuse of prisoners escalated Thursday in the Georgian capital, fueling anger against the Western-allied government and possibly boosting support for the opposition before a tight parliamentary election. Two days after television stations aired videos of guards beating inmates and raping them with truncheons and brooms, thousands rallied outside the Interior Ministry and the Tbilisi prison where the abuse occurred. The protesters, some carrying brooms, then marched down the capital's main avenue to the presidential palace to demand the ouster of the interior minister.
© AP

Associated Press

Associated Press

 TBILISI, Georgia — Tens of thousands of opposition supporters are thronging the center of Georgia's capital in a show of strength days ahead of a parliamentary election.

An opposition coalition headed by a billionaire businessman is presenting the government of Mikhail Saakashvili with its toughest challenge since he became president nearly nine years ago.

The capital, Tbilisi, long ago turned against Saakashvili, with many people disturbed by what they describe as his authoritarian rule.

Monday's election is being seen as a test of Saakashvili's commitment to democracy as he tries to move the former Soviet republic toward closer integration with the European Union and NATO.

On Saturday, people of all ages converged on the center from four directions on streets closed to traffic for a giant campaign rally on Freedom Square.

The Kyiv Post is disabling its online comment section due to an increase in trolls, violent comments and other personal attacks. Other news organizations worldwide have taken similar steps for the same reasons. The Kyiv Post regrets having to take this action. The newspaper believes in a robust public debate, but the discussion must be constructive and intelligent. For the time being, the Kyiv Post will allow comments on its moderated Facebook group The newspaper will consider hosting online comments again when circumstances allow. Thank you from the Kyiv Post.


© 1995–2015 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.