Sept. 29 - Georgian President Saakashvili's supporters rally in Batumi with opposition in Tbilisi in last day of campaign before parliamentary elections. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A sea of blue in Georgia as tens of thousands of opposition supporters gather ahead of Monday's parliamentary elections. The so-called "Georgian Dream" led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is challenging President Mikheil Saakashvili in a poll Monday. The Georgian Dream's prospects improved after protests erupted - sparked when two opposition TV channels broadcast images showing prison guards humiliating prisoners. (SOUNDBITE) (Georgian) GEORGIAN OPPOSITION LEADER BIDZINA IVANISHVILI, SAYING: "It has ended. This regime cannot be called a ruling force and the people has already delivered a verdict. We will just make it formal October 1st." But President Mikheil Saakashvili, who became a political darling of the West when he rose to power, is not giving up the fight. (SOUNDBITE) (Georgian) GEORGIAN PRESIDENT MIKHEIL SAAKASHVILI, SAYING: "All families should have a future, income and a good place to live. We need your support (BACK TO SAAKASHVILI) so the miracle we are creating here cannot be destroyed." The stakes are high for the Saakashvili, who promised to leave the presidency next year, but will need a victory in Monday's parliamentary election to keep a hand on power.