26 May: the day of Georgian Independence
26 May, 2011
26 May: the day of Georgian Independence

Military Parade against the Background of Protests…
The day of Georgian independence – the 26th of May – will be marked by military parade in the traditional place, i.e. Rustaveli Avenue.  Despite the protest actions, representatives of the Administration insist that nobody will prevent them from holding the parade.

However, certain part of the opposition is not going to obstruct the parade so far. Nino Burjanadze, the leader of Democratic Movement – United Georgia” and an organizer of the protest

actions, thinks that the Authorities won’t have a peace of mind during the parade.
Whatever the threat of pre-announced revolutions, the Georgian Authorities are seriously preparing for the Independence Day. The rehearsal of the military parade was taking place in the Rustaveli Avenue the whole night. It involved infantry as well as land and air force equipment.
The traditional military parade will unfold before the eyes of the Chief Commander Mikheil Saakashvili. However, it is unclear how many soldiers will pass in front of the Georgian President.
As Georgian readers know, Georgian National Council proclaimed independence of Georgia in Tbilisi 93 years ago, on 26 May, 1918. Democratic Republic of Georgia was recognized by all the leading European powers and ceased to exist in less than three years after the noxious invasion on the part of the Soviet Russia. The country managed to restore independence 70 years later, on 9 April, 1991.
The opposition claims that the Authorities have no right to hold the military parade and that it will represent demonstration of force against the background of the pre-announced revolutionary actions. However, they have no answer so far to the question whether they would obstruct the parade in any way. They say the plan for 26 May is not defined yet.
“I do not know how we are going to mark the 26 May with swords, shields or leaches on Misha’s neck. We stick to the daily schedule, which however does not cover the 26th of May. We have not discussed it yet,” said Erosi Kitsmarishvili, one of the leaders of Georgian Party.
Nino Burjanadze, the leader of “Democratic Movement – United Georgia” is convinced that the protest rallies will be successful. Regarding the military parade planned by the Government, she sees it as a true PR move.
Military experts believe that the Georgian Administration will hold the military parade without a hitch and that the opposition will not be able to interfere with it in any way.
“The Georgian independence must be marked adequately. But it should be marked with celebrations, not by the demonstration of military might,” some politicians and experts argue.
As for the similar military parade conducted last year in the same place, it involved 4325 soldiers, infantry machines and light air force, as well as armored vehicles. The Chief Commander of Georgian military forces President Mikheil Saakashvili listened to the report on readiness delivered by Major General Devi Chankotadze, Chief of HQ.


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