Saakashvili supporters to protest in Tbilisi today

Saakashvili supporters to protest in Tbilisi today

The United National Movement (UNM) will hold a rally in Tbilisi today, where demonstrators will demand the release of former president Mikheil Saakashvili from prison. 

The Droa and Law & Justice opposition parties will join the UNM rally today, while the majority of opposition parties, including those which say that Saakashvili ‘is a political prisoner,’ have refused to participate, reported.

Saakashvili, who was arrested in Tbilisi on October 1, just ahead of Georgia’s municipal elections, has called on the public to join the UNM rally.

Saakashviili returned to Georgia after eight years in political exile to support his UNM party in the October 2 municipal elections and replace the current Georgian Dream government, as he says, via snap parliamentary elections. The ex-president, who is a citizen of Ukraine, wishes to be released from prison before municipal election run-offs on October 30. 

Saakashvili was convicted in Georgia in absentia in 2018 and was sentenced to six years in prison for abuse of authority.  He has also been charged with four other offences related to the illegal seizure of property, embezzlement, illegal rally dispersal, and illegal border-crossing.