Several thousand people attended an opposition-organized protest rally in Georgia’s second largest city, Kutaisi, on October 19.
The event was part of a campaign by ten opposition parties to push for early parliamentary elections. As a lead-up to a planned rally outside Parliament in Tbilisi on November, the opposition has been holding rallies throughout the regions. More protests are expected in Adjara, Guria and Samegrelo regions in western Georgia. On October 20, opposition leaders are due to meet with the visiting EU special representative for the South Caucasus, Peter Semneby, according to the Republican Party.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze, accompanied by Healthcare Minister Davit Tkeshelashvili, will visit Kutaisi on October 20 to promote the massive, state-funded social assistance program. Officials say about 2.8 million citizens of Georgia will benefit from this one-time assistance program, which was launched upon the start of the opposition campaign.