World Bulletin / News Desk
Hundreds of Georgians gathered on Sunday outside the presidential administration building in the capital Tbilisi demanding the removal of President Mikheil Saakashvili, whose term in office they say should be ending.
Participants of the rally said the president's second term should expire on Jan. 21, five years from his inauguration. The constitution limits the presidential term to five years but does not call for elections until October this year.
Saakashvili's National Movement party was defeated in parliamentary elections in October. His opponent, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, became prime minister, forcing a difficult cohabitation between them.
The protesters waved anti-Saakashvili signs and caricatures of the Georgian leader. Some threatened to block access to the presidential palace and put up tents until he leaves power.
"He is not the president of Georgia any more ... This Satan has nothing to do in this building any more," Gocha Gurgenidze, a participant of the rally, said.
Several groups in Georgia have begun collecting signatures urging Saakashvili to step down. Since the parliamentary election, numerous former government officials have been arrested, accused of abuse of power and other crimes.
The West has warned Ivanishvili, a political novice, not to lead a witch-hunt of officials loyal to Saakashvili, who in turn is criticised by opponents for monopolising power, mistreating critics and trampling on human rights.
Saakishvili is Georgia's third president in the 20 years since the fall of the Soviet Union. The first two, Zurab Gamsakhurdia and Eduard Shevardnadze, were both toppled, one in a civil war and the other in a popular revolt.
The landslide struck the village of Sucun in Suichang county of Zhejiang province at around 5pm (0900 GMT), the official Xinhua news agency said.
Military says 3 Abu Sayyaf members, 1 soldier also injured in back-to-back encounters in troubled southern island province
India has sought to isolate Pakistan in the wake of the raid on its base in the disputed region of Kashmir, which killed 18 soldiers and triggered public fury.
India has blamed Pakistan for a military unit attack with Pakistan denying charges and warning that it will use nuclear arsenal if necessary
Rescue teams search for 2 miners who remain missing after gas explosion authorities blame on ‘illegal mining’
Blast at mine in northwest Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region believed to have been caused by gas
Around 600 petitioners gather to file complaints against steel manufacturer blamed for this year’s massive fish kill
More than 1.3 homes experience power outages after Typhoon Megi makes landfall
The petition calls for the kingdom's women to be treated "as a full citizen, and decide an age where she will be an adult and will be responsible for her own acts," said campaigner Aziza Al-Yousef.
Tensions between the longtime rivals have spiked over a recent attack on an Indian army base in Kashmir that New Delhi has blamed on Pakistan-based militants.
South Korea welcomes US blacklisting Chinese business for backing North's ‘development of weapons of mass destruction’
Says will open Philippines to trade, commerce with China, Russia while heading toward ‘point of no return’ in ties with US
A Chinese court handed down a three-year suspended jail sentence for a prominent labour activist while two other defendants were given 18-month suspended sentences, a lawyer and rights group said.
Officers raid hospital where Baek Nam-gi was pronounced dead months after being hit by police water cannon during protest
Remark comes after Japan scrambled fighter jets after Chinese aircraft flew over Miyako Strait on way to drills in Pacific
China investigating bank for continuing to operate in defiance of sanctions aimed at blocking Pyongyang's nuclear funds