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Hundreds Of Saakashvili Supporters Rally In Central Kyiv


Mikheil Saakashvili (center, with microphone) led a march of spporters in central Kyiv on November 12.

Supporters of the Movement of New Forces, the political party led by Mikheil Saakashvili, have demonstrated in central Kyiv to call for reforms.

Several hundred people gathered on Mikhailov Square on November 12, some of them holding Ukrainian flags and red-and-black and party banners.

They are planning to march toward a tent camp that was set up by protesters outside the parliament building.

Police said law enforcers will accompany the demonstrators to "prevent provocations and violations of the law and order."

Protesters set up tents outside the Verkhovna Rada building on October 17, calling for the cancellation of parliamentarian immunity, the creation of an anticorruption court, amendments to election laws, and legislation on impeachment of the president.

At least 10 people were arrested after police used tear gas against demonstrators on October 18.

On October 19, the protesters notched a small victory as parliament sent a bill on lifting lawmakers' immunity from prosecution to the Constitutional Court for review.

And President Petro Poroshenko vowed on October 20 to push for legislation creating an anticorruption court by the end of the year.

The protests were initially called by Saakashvili, a onetime ally of Poroshenko, but many of Ukraine's opposition political leaders have also joined the protests.

In 2015, Saakashvili was appointed by Poroshenko to be governor of the Odesa region and surrendered his Georgian citizenship in order to take the post.

However, Saakashvili resigned in November 2016, saying that his reform efforts had been blocked by Poroshenko's allies.

The former Georgian president was then stripped of Ukrainian citizenship by Poroshenko in June 2017 in a move he is currently challenging in court.

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