Leaders of the Georgian National Council of Opposition (NC – radical opposition uniting eight parties) have launched a hunger strike. Five people are protesting on the steps in front of the parliament building.
They put forth the same demands as participants in an NC meeting that is coming to an end here – to recalculate the electorate’s votes at the presidential election held on January 5, democratisation of the election code and ensuring a free and democratic holding of elections to the country’s parliament scheduled for May. The hunger strike participants say that they will hold the action until the authorities satisfy their demands.
Taking part in the action are three deputies of the Georgian parliament – Giya Tortladze (member of the party For United Georgia), Zviad Dzidziguri and Bidzina Gudzhabidze (both of the Conservative Party), as well as Irakly Malashvili (People’s Forum party) and Koba Davitashvili (leader of the Party of People).
The NC leaders claim that the “authorities falsified the results of the presidential election of January 5.” They believe that at the January 5 election Mikhail Saakashvili got not 53.47 percent of the votes, but 40 percent. But the authorities say that these claims are an attempt to justify the defeat of the NC candidate Levan Gachechiladze who got 25.6 percent of votes, according to the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia.