Dozens of members of the United National Movement of Georgian ex-President Mikheil Saakashvili held a protest in front of the house of the former Prime Minister, leader of the Georgian Dream coalition, Bidzina Ivanishvili.
They expressed dissatisfaction with the government's energy policy, in particular the increase in electricity tariffs, demanding the implementation of the promises of Georgian Dream.
"Instead of the promised reduction of the electricity tariff by half, it is growing. Now they have raised the tariffs for electricity, tomorrow they will raise the tariffs for water, gas, we are afraid of each new day," one of the protesters said.
According to the deputy head of the Tbilisi organization of the United National Movement, Nika Melia, the current government has excluded tens of thousands of people from the database of the socially unprotected, depriving them of benefits in the payment of electricity and other utilities.
"Ivanishvili and his government must stop the replication of lies. They should consider that if today this action is taking place at his door, what will happem in autumn or winter," Interfax cited him as saying.
Last Thursday the National Regulatory Commission of Georgia decided to raise electricity rates in the country by 32.3% from August 1st due to the devaluation of the GEL, it will affect Energo-Pro Georgia's subscribers (a subsidiary of the Czech company Energo-Pro). Then, the electricity distribution company Telasi submitted an application requesting an increase in tariffs for its subscribers to the Commission for the same reason. On Friday the Georgian government decided to subsidize the increased tariff for socially disadvantaged groups.
Political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze told Vestnik Kavkaza that the action near Ivanishvili's house is political, not social. "The United National Movement is a political party and its goals are also political. They often mentioned that Ivanishvili during the election campaign made promises, that is, his promises were discussed at these meetings and among politicians. So, in addition to the requirements to reduce tariffs, we can see political dishonesty in that precedent," he said.
Sakvarelidze noted that the UNM paradoxically does not incite, but constrains social protests, as people do not want to protest together with the representatives of the party of former President Mikheil Saakashvili. "The problem of the UNM is that its protests are not that impressive in the number of supporters. The majority of people are trying to distance themselves from them, because their generosity is not credible in this case," the analyst said.