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Thousands rally in Georgia demanding release of jailed pro-West ex-leader


TBILISI, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Thousands of flag-waving supporters of former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, jailed after getting back from exile on Oct. 1, gathered in Tbilisi metropolis centre on Thursday to demand his release.

The rally attracted probably the most protesters since pro-Western Saakashvili’s arrest for abuse of energy and concealing proof when he was president, costs he says had been politically motivated. learn extra

Saakashvili, who went on starvation strike in jail on Oct. 1, addressed the group in a written assertion learn from a stage by his lawyer.

“It’s time to save Georgia now, that’s why we have to be together… This Carthage of evil, betrayal and oppression will certainly fall,” the ex-president wrote, referring to the traditional metropolis destroyed by battle.

Many Georgian nationwide flags had been seen above the group, with some holding flags of the European Union and Ukraine, the place Saakashvili lived earlier than returning to his residence nation.

The politician who led the Rose Revolution in 2003 that ended the presidency of Eduard Shevardnadze is a figurehead for some in the opposition, however derided as a clown by detractors in the ruling Georgian Dream social gathering.

The day after Saakashvili’s arrest, the United National Movement opposition social gathering based by the ex-president obtained 30.7% assist at municipal elections, dropping to the Georgian Dream social gathering, which gained 46.7%.

Nika Melia, chairman of UNM, is about to participate in the second spherical of Tbilisi’s mayoral election on Oct. 30, which Saakashvili stated in his assertion could be the final step in the direction of ending the ruling regime.

Reporting by David Chkhikvishvili and Maria Tsvetkova; Editing by Nick Macfie

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People attend a rally demanding the release of jailed Georgian former President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi, Georgia October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

A portrait of Georgian former President Mikheil Saakashvili is seen on a screen as people attend a rally demanding his release from jail in Tbilisi, Georgia October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Irakli Gedenidze

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