17 Oct 2018 19:43

Tbilisi authorities to prevent riots due to Saakashvili supporters' plans to hold mass events in city - mayor

TBILISI. Oct 17 (Interfax) - The Tbilisi authorities will prevent any attempts to provoke disturbances and destabilize the situation in the city during manifestations planned by former Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili's party United National Movement for October 19-21 and any illegal actions, Tbilisi Mayor Kakha Kaladze said.

"Freedom of speech and expression is respected in the country. Relevant services will ensure that everything is within the legal boundaries," Kaladze said at a meeting of the city council on Wednesday, commenting on the opposition party's request to the mayor's office for the holding of a manifestation.

According to Kaladze, organizers mentioned that the estimated number of participants may reach 100,000 people, therefore, motor traffic would be closed, if neccessary.

"If it is not necessary to block roads, relevant services will act within their legal capacities," the Tbilisi mayor said.

The United National Movement is trying to radicalize the situation prior to the election, he said.

"I would like emphasize so that everyone remembers that no one in the country is allowed to cause disturbances and destabilization," the mayor said, adding that any illegal actions will receive an appropriate response.

The presidential election will take place in Georgia on October 28. The United National Movement and the opposition union Strength is in Unity nominated Grigol Vashadze, former foreign ministry in Saakashvili's government.