Tens of thousands of people filled the main square in Tbilisi on Wednesday at a rally in support of the ruling Georgian Dream party, ahead of key elections due on Saturday and amid a tense political situation.
Georgians will go again to the polls on Saturday to vote for Mayors of Georgia's main cities, including Tbilisi, as well as for local governing councils in many districts. The first run of the poll on 2 October proved inconclusive, despite the fact that the ruling Georgian Dream Party was well ahead of other opposition groups.
The political situation in Georgia had been building up to a crisis for some time, and the situation became more tense following the return to the country of former president Mikheil Saakashvili, who had earlier been sentenced to several terms of imprisonment for crimes committed during his term of office. Saakashvili was duly arrested and has since gone on hunger strike.