Around 200,000 people have reportedly come out in support of opposition party Georgian Dream in what may become the biggest ever rally to hit Tbilisi. Georgia is set to cast votes in a parliamentary poll Monday.
The Georgian capital was strewn with blue colors Saturday as the South Caucasian country’s parliamentary campaign comes to a climax.
“One of my promises has already come true: all of Georgia is standing united today,” opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili told tens of thousands people gathered at central Freedom Square to show their support for him. “All Georgia tells the authorities…”
“…leave!” responded the crowd.
“The authorities cannot pretend they did not know what happens in our prisons,” continued the billionaire tycoon, referring to a recent torture scandal that led to the resignations of several top officials and left President Mikhail Saakashvili playing spin-doctor for himself at the UN General Assembly.
Reports on the rally’s turnout vary, with Russia’s RIA Novosti agency estimating the demo to be 200,000 strong, while the multinational channel MTRK MIR says 300,000 people were in attendance. MIR remarks that Tbilisi’s last most massive rally was held in 2010, and gathered around 100,000 people.