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Thousands Demand Georgian President's Resignation


Georgian opposition protesters rally against President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi on May 25.

Georgian opposition protesters rally against President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi on May 25.

Several thousand antigovernment protesters in Georgia are demanding the president's resignation for a fifth day.

The rally's organizers have permission to remain at Tbilisi's Freedom Square until midnight on May 25 -- 10 hours before a military parade to mark Independence Day is scheduled to pass through the square.

Prominent opposition leader Nino Burjanadze called on the demonstrators to remain on the square beyond midnight.

She said President Mikheil Saakashvili "tried hard to scare people, but he did not manage to disperse you. Thanks a lot to all of you. We will fight and get our country back."

But turnout at the protest remained small by local standards and the authorities insisted the May 26 parade would go ahead.

Saakashvili's opponents want to force his resignation for alleged corruption within his government and backsliding on reforms.

compiled from agency reports
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