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.
At least 39 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli gunfire near Gaza border
Serbia's ambassador to Ankara says 5 government ministers will accompany Serbian president
He acted quickly -- just a day after decades of Castro rule ended and long time party loyalist Miguel Diaz-Canel assumed power as president.
Multimillion-dollar lawsuit raises issue of hacking of Democratic National Committee’s servers
Syrian regime would be 'ill-advised' to ignore message sent by last week’s allied missile strike, says US Defense Secretary
At least 39 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli interventions since border rallies began March 30
Thursday’s vote make Diaz-Canel first person outside Castro family to rule country in almost 60 years
Syrian regime had no clear picture of what was happening to them, says U.S. general, referring to U.S.-led joint attack
Hamas, Islamic Jihad announced plans earlier to boycott scheduled meeting of PLO’s National Council
Canadian provinces at war over future delivery of oil to Pacific countries
Terrorists killed during operations in Saladin governorate
Decision follows Ecuador’s withdrawal as mediator in talks between Bogota and rebel group
The economic damage of trade war will be smaller than its perceived risk, experts say
Top court says in 5-4 decision federal statute is 'unconstitutionally vague'
'Both chlorine and sarin gas were used in the attack,' says State Department spokesperson
Move ‘is just one step in a journey that requires dedication,’ says coffee chain’s CEO