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  Monday, August 19, 2019
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Georgia's opposition resumed protests in the capital on Monday, demanding
Georgia's opposition resumed protests in the capital on Monday, demanding a decision to move back parliamentary elections be cancelled, as well as the president resign.

On the fourth day of massive protests - the Caucasus state's worst unrest since the 2003 "rose revolution" that brought Mikheil Saakashvili to power - activists formed what they called a "corridor of shame" in front of the Interior Ministry pressurizing civil servants, who have to pass through it, to quit their jobs and join the rallies.

More protests are planned elsewhere in Tbilisi, including in front of the Prosecutor General's Office, the parliament and government buildings, later on Monday.

The opposition plan to make a statement at the parliament building at 13:00 Moscow time (10:00 a.m. GMT) on President Saakashvili's televised address on Sunday night.

In his first public address since the protests began on Friday, Saakashvili reiterated the position earlier announced by his supporters that he would not bring the parliamentary polls forward to their original date in April from fall 2008, when a presidential vote will take place. He said he moved the elections to save money.

Saakashvili also said the independence of Serbia's breakaway region of Kosovo could be recognized in spring, which could prompt Russia recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia - separatist regions in Georgia with close ties with Moscow. Saakashvili has vowed to regain control of the republics during his presidential term.

Saakashvili also accused Russia of financing unrests in Georgia to weaken the country.

"Certain oligarchs in Russia control and coordinate certain political forces [in Georgia] and are trying to destabilize Georgia ahead of elections at home," he said.

About 100,000 people, unhappy with a lack of progress in economic reform and with Saakashvili amassing too much power, gathered in central Tbilisi on Friday night. Sunday's rallies attracted from 20,000 to 50,000 people according to different sources.


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