Protesters are planning to hold another rally in front of the former parliament building in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, on Saturday to demand the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili.
Several Georgian non-governmental organizations and political movements held mass anti-Saakashvili protests in Tbilisi and other major cities on Friday calling on president to step down before January 20 when his second five-year term expires.
Protesters claim that the incumbent president has artificially extended his term until October 2013 by proposing changes in the country’s legislation, which were passed by the former parliament while it was still dominated by his United National Movement (UNM) party.
Protesters have given Saakashvili an ultimatum warning him that the protests would become even bigger and spread all over the country if he refuses to resign by January 20. They also threatened to block the access to the presidential palace in Tbilisi.
Saakashvili-led UNM was defeated by the Georgian Dream opposition coalition led by billionaire businessman Bidzina Ivanishvili in the country’s October 1 parliamentary elections.
Appointed Prime Minister, Ivanishvili and his new Cabinet launched a crackdown on former government officials claiming that Saakashvili and his party had ruined the country during nine years of their rule.
The majority of the president’s executive powers will be transferred to the new prime minister under constitutional reforms that take effect in January.