Police will not intervene in planned rallies and protesters will be able to demonstrate their will as long as they wish provided they remain peaceful, Vano Merabishvili, an influential interior minister, said.
“There is no chance of a revolution in Georgia,” he said in an interview with Reuters on April 8, less than a day before the opposition plans to launch the protest rally to demand President Saakashvili’s resignation.
“It [the protest] cannot last forever. The participants also have their own limits,” he said. “If there is no threat to the lives of the citizens, our tactic will be to not intervene or impede members of the protest in expressing their will freely.”
“My position does not give me the liberty to exclude anything, but my mood tells me there will not be violence,” Merabishvili added.
In a separate interview also on April 8 with the French news agency, AFP, Merabishvili said the authorities would show “maximum tolerance” for the protesters.
“There will be no direct confrontation between police and protesters,” he said.
“Only if the opposition attempts to take these [government] buildings and occupy them, then we will stop their attack.”
More than dozen of opposition parties, behind the planned rallies, said they would keep protesting unless President Saakashvili resigned.
Leader of opposition Alliance for Georgia, Irakli Alasania, said on April 8: ”I personally can reassure you that what we are trying to do tomorrow ... is not to stage a revolution.”
"What we are trying to do is to demonstrate to the government and the international community that there is huge mistrust toward the government from the public."