Bad things brewing in Georgia:
Thousands of protesters flooded the capital of Georgia and vowed not to leave until President Eduard Shevardnadze resigns over a parliamentary election scandal that has transformed into a full-blown national crisis.
The protest was timed to coincide with the convening of the new parliament, elected in a Nov. 2 ballot that the opposition claims was rigged and which has fueled popular anger against Shevardnadze’s government.
Shevardnadze, speaking to journalists inside the parliament building, said he was ready for dialogue with the opposition, but “without any ultimatums. Parliament was elected and … parliament should begin work today.”
This poverty-stricken country has slid into its biggest political crisis in years, with pro- and anti-Shevardnadze forces vowing to avoid bloodshed but also refusing to budge. Both sides are amassing thousands of supporters in the already tense capital.
“We are giving the president one last chance,” protest leader Mikhail Saakashvili said, addressing thousands of his supporters on Freedom Square. “Within one hour, either he comes to the people or the people will come to him.”
Cable news networks are showing masses storming Parliament as I write this.