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World Briefing / Georgia

Opposition stops protests for now

July 25, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Georgia's opposition, struggling to muster support for a street campaign to oust President Mikheil Saakashvili, said it was suspending protests over the summer.

The announcement followed the reopening of the capital's central avenue to traffic, after police cleared dozens of mock prison cells that had blocked the road since early April. There was no opposition resistance.

A disparate opposition alliance took to the streets on April 9 to demand that Saakashvili quit over his record on democracy and last year's five-day war when Russia crushed a Georgian assault on breakaway South Ossetia.

Opponents accuse the pro-Western leader of monopolizing power, stifling the news media and compromising the judiciary since coming to power in the former Soviet republic on the back of the 2003 "Rose Revolution."

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