Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

International News

Georgians are demonstrating en masse for the EU, urging the government to leave

#Georgians #demonstrating #masse #urging #government #leave

Georgians held a new mass rally on Sunday demanding the resignation of the government for failing to formally secure its candidacy for membership of the European Union.

The Black Sea nation has been in the grip of mass protests since EU leaders decided in late June to delay Tbilisi’s bid for membership pending deep political reforms.

The largest demonstrations in decades, which saw at least 120,000 people take to the streets on June 20, are being organized by leading pro-democracy groups and backed by opposition parties.

More than 35,000 demonstrators gathered in front of the Georgian Parliament on Sunday evening, blocking traffic on the main thoroughfare of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, according to an AFP local correspondent.

Demonstrators waved Georgian and EU flags and sang the national anthem, while many held up placards reading “We are Europe”.

“Our demonstration focuses on the historic goal of Georgia’s European integration,” one of the organizers of the rally, prominent writer and civil rights activist Lasha Bugadze, told the crowd.

“The government’s response to our constructive, peaceful and non-violent protests has been grossly inadequate,” he said.

The ruling party accuses the opposition of “plans to overthrow the authorities by organizing anti-government rallies.”

– “Destructive Role” –

Earlier on Facebook, organizers of the rally called on Bidznia Ivanishvili, founder of the country’s ruling party, to “give up executive power and confer it on a constitutional manner to a government of national consensus”.

A new cabinet “will implement the reforms requested by the EU, which will automatically earn us EU candidate status,” the statement said.

Ivanishvili, a former prime minister and richest man in Georgia, is said to call the shots in the country, although he has no official political role.

Last month, the European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution imposing personal sanctions on Ivanishvili for his “destructive role” in Georgia’s political and economic life.

He insists he has retired from politics.

One of the protesters, surgeon Nika Gorgaslidze, 45, said: “Ivanishvili controls the government, parliament, the courts, the media behind the scenes. Such a political system is undemocratic, it is incompatible with Georgia’s goal of becoming a member of the EU.”

Another protester, 19-year-old student Marina Sanodze, said: “Our protests will not stop until we have a new government that implements the necessary reforms and brings us closer to EU membership.”

– ‘Clear way’ –

Georgia applied for EU membership along with Ukraine and Moldova days after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.

On June 23, EU leaders granted Kyiv and Chisinau formal candidate status but said Tbilisi could only become an official candidate after outstanding issues were resolved.

EU leaders “nevertheless recognized Georgia’s European perspective,” a move President Salome Zurabishvili called “historic.”

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said his government was “mobilized” to meet EU requirements in time “so that we can get candidate status as soon as possible”.

Postponing Georgia’s candidacy became a foregone conclusion after the European Commission – the EU’s executive branch – said on June 20 that Tbilisi needed to implement a series of reforms by the end of 2022 before it could be put on a formal accession path.

EU conditions include ending political polarization, improving freedom of the press and the courts, electoral reform and “de-oligarchization”.

“They (Georgians) have a clear path… If these criteria are met, candidate status will be granted automatically,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on June 23.

The government of the ruling Georgian Dream party is facing increasing international criticism over a perceived backslide to democracy that has severely damaged Tbilisi’s relations with Brussels.

Plans to join NATO and the EU are enshrined in Georgia’s constitution and, according to opinion polls, are supported by at least 80 percent of the population.

Social Tags:
#Georgians #demonstrating #masse #urging #government #leave

You May Also Like

Health News

The cosmetic and facial plastic surgery practice is hosting a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting for its new Chattanooga state-of-the-art location.

Current News

“NEXT by TRT World Forum” Brought Together Globally Known Young Professionals

Current News

J & D Oriental Rug Co. sells antique and vintage carpets and rugs sourced from different regions with an inventory of over 6000 unique...

Business and Tech

Big brands are rushing into the metaverse, but the path to profit is still unclear and mass adoption could be years away, one of...