President Saakashvili said in an interview with Brussels-based EUobserver.com on April 8 that he did not expect violence as the opposition plans to launch protest rallies to demand his resignation.
“Georgia has had many manifestations in the past and there is a big opposition mobilisation, but we don't expect more than the French expected from the manifestations against their government,” EUobserver.com quoted Saakashvili.
“We hope that we won't be seeing violence like in London and Athens and that there is consensus that every protest should be peaceful. The main thing we expect is to show the world that Georgia is a democracy and not susceptible to any destabilisation," the president said. “A coup requires a crack in the military and police and a political crisis in the Parliament. There are no such credentials here right now. We see that some people in downtown Tbilisi mostly are unhappy with their status, but in the regions, they have almost zero support.”
He also said that the country’s political party system was underdeveloped. “You get a lot of people switching from one party to another, also people with criminal connections getting into parties in the hope for some cover up. That doesn't mean we should blame the parties, but the underdevelopment of parties. It is a temporary problem for Georgia, once parties develop, it won't be an issue anymore,” he said.
“This country has seen several civil wars and foreign aggression. It has a bad history of violence. At this stage it is a safe country, but of course there are people prone to go that way if we allow to. So we should be vigilant. But that doesn't mean in any way that it would limit the political party,” Saakashvili said while commenting on the arrest of some activists affiliated with Nino Burjanadze’s opposition party.