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City Council Commission Approves of Changing Rose Revolution Square Name

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, May 24
The Symbols Commission of Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo), has approved the initiative on changing the name of the Rose Square, which received its current name after the 2003 Rose Revolution.

The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) majority of Tbilisi Sakrebulo passed the decision without the opposition participation at the special session.

Tbilisi City Council will hold the final discussions on the issue at the end of the week before Georgia’s Independence Day on May 26, and if approved, the Rose Revolution Square will have a new name - Democratic Republic Square.

The initiative belongs to the Georgian Dream, which says the changes are connected to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the First Democratic Republic of Georgia.

The opposition is against changing the Rose Square name and assesses it as a political decision. The opposition MPs did not attend the special session in protest.

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 party aims at fighting the opposition and the people who were main actors of the Rose Revolution, including ex-president Saakashvili.

The Chairman of the Tbilisi Sakrebulo Faction of European Georgia Goka Gabashvili stated that changing the name of the Rose Square is unacceptable and equals re-writing of Georgia’s modern history.

“This initiative insults hundreds of thousands of people and the historical past of the country. The Rose Revolution has changed a lot of things and made Georgia move forward,” Gabashvili stressed.

The MP expressed hope that the ruling party will not stay long in the leadership of Georgia, adding when the government is changed, this decision will also be reversed.

In Soviet times Rose Square in Central 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. 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.