Georgians to choose between ‘good or evil’

Georgians to choose between ‘good or evil’

TBILISI - Reuters
Georgians to choose between ‘good or evil’

Bidzina Ivanishvili says they promise to come to power and to restore justice.

Voters in Georgia face a stark choice between “good and evil” in parliamentary elections on Oct. 1, said opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, following days of protests over state prison brutality that have left the ruling party reeling.

“We should make a choice between good and evil on Oct. 1,” Ivanishvili told a crowd in Zugdidi in western Georgia. “We promise to come to power and to restore justice,” said the billionaire leader of the “Georgian Dream” opposition coalition.

Thousands of people gathered at Zugdidi’s central square to show their support for the opposition, which poses a serious challenge to President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement party’s chances of winning the upcoming vote.

Protests were sparked in Georgia this week after footage showing the torture and rape of inmates in the capital’s main prison was aired by two television channels supportive of the opposition.

Hours after the release of the prison video, Saakashvili promised to punish those responsible and seek radical reforms of the jail system, asking policemen to take over prison guard duties while reforms were being worked out.

The country’s interior minister tendered his resignation over the scandal and the prisons minister also stepped down.