Georgian opposition threatens new rallies over Imedi TV closure

Subscribe
US
India
Global
Georgia's opposition will hold a rally in the capital on Sunday to demand that the government allow independent Imedi TV company to resume broadcasts, the leader of the People's Party said on Monday.
MOSCOW, November 19 (RIA Novosti) - Georgia's opposition will hold a rally in the capital on Sunday to demand that the government allow independent Imedi TV company to resume broadcasts, the leader of the People's Party said on Monday.

"We will hold a mass demonstration to demand that restrictions on Imedi be lifted," Koba Davitashvili told a news conference.

Imedi, established by billionaire Badri Patarkatsishvili, who finances the opposition and plans to challenge the incumbent president in the early January 5 polls, was closed amid anti-government rallies earlier in November. The channel had broadcast what authorities called appeals for forcible regime change. Imedi's property was later arrested, and its license frozen.

The leader of another opposition party, For United Georgia, announced earlier today that the opposition was terminating dialogue with the parliamentary majority and could resume street protests over authorities' refusal to reopen the channel.

Authorities lifted on Friday the nationwide state of emergency which included a ban on independent TV broadcasting, but Imdedi remained closed in line with a court ruling. The opposition, which has complained of restricted access to media, earlier said the case against Imedi was designed to harm their campaign.

A spokesperson for the parliamentary speaker meanwhile dismissed opposition statements on closing dialogue on ways to defuse the current political crisis.

"Dialogue between political forces is continuing, it has not been halted," Irina Kurdadze said, adding the parties have reached a consensus on electoral amendments, one of key opposition demands during the recent unrest. She said Speaker Nino Burdzhanadze would meet with moderate opposition leaders later on Monday.

However, a Right Opposition faction leader said that today's meeting with the speaker would be the final one, as the opposition and the parliamentary majority have reached a deadlock and no more concessions are expected. "Dialogue for the sake of dialogue makes no sense," Pikriya Chikhradze said.

While backing President Mikheil Saakashvili's policy of integrating the ex-Soviet state into Europe and NATO, the opposition has criticized what it calls his increasingly totalitarian tendencies and failure to ensure better living standards.

Saakashvili came under harsh criticism from the West for his crackdown on protesters and media restrictions during the crisis, during which Tbilisi saw the largest public demonstrations since the 2003 'rose revolution' that brought the president to power.

Newsfeed
0
To participate in the discussion
log in or register
loader
Chats
Заголовок открываемого материала