April 10, 2009 in Nation/World

Georgians hold mass protest

Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Protesters attend a rally in front of the parliament building in Tbilisi, Georgia, on Thursday, calling on the president to quit.
(Full-size photo)

TBILISI, Georgia – Tens of thousands of demonstrators on Thursday demanded the resignation of President Mikhail Saakashvili, saying he had lost the right to lead Georgia after a humiliating war with Russia.

The peaceful demonstration outside parliament, which opposition leaders vowed would continue until Saakashvili stepped down, was reminiscent of the bloodless protests of the Rose Revolution that brought him to power five years ago. But it was far from clear whether the fragmented opposition had the necessary support to stage a similar revolt.

Another large rally was planned for today.

The most bitter criticism was directed at the president’s handling of the August conflict, which resulted in loss of Georgian territory as separatists and their Russian allies took full control over two breakaway Georgian regions.

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