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  Georgia Girds for Standoff at Parliament
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Last EditedJason  Apr 13, 2009 04:20am
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MediaNewspaper - Wall Street Journal
News DateMonday, April 13, 2009 10:20:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionTBILISI, Georgia -- Georgia's opposition said it will dig in for the long haul in its campaign to force the country's president to resign, but Mikhail Saakashvili is vowing to keep his cool as tensions rise.

"I'm sure they will stand here until the president resigns," said leading opposition figure and former Saakashvili ally Nino Burjanadze at a rally of a few hundred people Sunday. She said the campaign could continue for weeks.

Scuffles broke out in the center of the capital, Tbilisi, late Saturday as a group of men ripped down banners and threw computers to the ground on a makeshift stage in front of Parliament. The opposition say they were sent by the government. The government issued a statement saying they were street cleaners sent to clean up the protest site who were set upon by demonstrators.

A crowd supporting a coalition of parties has been camped at the spot and marching to and from the presidential administration and the public television station since April 9. The demonstrators began a campaign of civil disobedience Friday, closing three of the capital's main roads for a few hours every day.

Mr. Saakashvili said the protesters are free to demonstrate because that's how democracy works. In November 2007, he used tear gas and rubber bullets on similar demonstrations.
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