Thirteen opposition political groups announced on March 27, that they would coordinate efforts to organize peaceful protest rallies starting from April 9 to demand President Saakashvili’s resignation.
Eight parties have made a similar statement last month, but the recent announcement, with the named Manifesto of Unity, marks further increase of the group as the Alliance for Georgia, uniting New Rights Party, Republican Party and a political team of Irakli Alasania, has joined it. The Alliance for Georgia until now has showed reservations about the joining the group in charge of organizing the April 9 rally, but was holding consultations with it to, as it was saying, to agree on an exact action plan.
Apart of the parties in the Alliance for Georgia, the manifesto has been joined by the following parties: Alliance for Freedom (uniting Party of Freedom; Party of Women for Justice and Equality; Traditionalists and Party of Future); Conservative Party (leaders – Kakha Kukava and Zviad Dzidziguri); Democratic Movement–United Georgia (led by Nino Burjanadze); Georgia’s Way (led by Salome Zourabichvili); Industrialists Party (led by Zurab Tkemaladze and beer magnate Gogi Topadze); Movement for United Georgia (founded by ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili); Party of People (led by Koba Davitashvili). Levan Gachechiladze, a former opposition presidential candidate, has joined the document as an individual politician.
“We reaffirm, that on April 9, 2009 we will launch a peaceful protest rally through which we will achieve Mikheil Saakashvili’s resignation from the post of the president and appointment of early presidential elections,” the document reads.
With the document the parties have also pledged that their action plan “will be agreed and coordinated with each other.”
Opposition leaders said on March 27, that they were ready for a dialogue with the authorities only on the terms of President Saakashvili’s resignation.
While covering the event, Rustavi 2 TV’s evening news bulletin announced: “Despite scandal surrounding Nino Burjanadze the radical opposition has refused to distance itself from her.”