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Minister: Rose Revolution Square to Be Renamed

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, May 7
Georgia’s Minister of Internally Displaced Persons and Accommodation, Sozar Subari believes the Rose Revolution Square in central Tbilisi should be renamed and called Democratic Republic Square.

The minister told Georgia’s Public Broadcaster that the square, named after the 2003 Rose Revolution, is no longer associated with positive events since 2008 Russia-Georgia war.

Subari, former member of the Liberty Institute, says he was an active participant of the Rose Revolution, adding if he knew the war would happen in 2008, he would never support the revolution, which was led by the former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili.

According to him, the responsibility on 2008 developments lies on Saakashvili and the conflict could have been avoided.

“Russian occupation of Georgian territories right after the 2008 war was the worst thing that has happened to Georgia, and it was the result of Rose Revolution 2003. This is why I think the name of the square should be changed,” he added.

The initiative of giving the Rose Revolution Square the name – Democratic Republic Square, was discussed at the meeting of the Symbols Commission of the City Council (Sakrebulo) last week.

Moreover, Tbilisi Mayor, Kakha Kaladze welcomes the initiative. He stated the society will also be involved in the process and expressed hope they will support this idea.

“Not only the name of the Rose Revolution Square but some other locations and streets will also be renamed in connection to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the First Democratic Republic,” he noted.

Opposition United National Movement (UNM) and the European Georgia, which used to be a part of the UNM until 2017, believe the initiative of the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party aims at fighting the opposition and the people who were main actors of the Rose Revolution, including ex-president Saakashvili.

The final decision will be made at the Sakrebulo session before May 26, when Georgia marks the Independence Day.

In Soviet times Rose Revolution Square in Tbilisi used to be called Republic Square. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Republic Square remained unchanged and continued to host state military parades at the monument called Andropov’s Ears.

After the peaceful change of power in November 2003, Andropov’s Ears were demolished and the place was rehabilitated and called the Rose Revolution Square. The revolution derives its name from the moment, when demonstrators led by Saakashvili stormed the Parliament session with red roses in their hands.