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Sunday, 18 March 2018


Post of Tbilisi mayor at stake

2009-04-08 14:33

2/9/5/2295.jpegTwo days before the start of opposition rallies the situation in Georgia becomes more like a political blockbuster. There is a hope that blockbuster features reported by local media will not be part of April confrontation scenario. For now the situation is this: radical opposition urges to unseat the president, the authorities propose a change - to be content with the position of Tbilisi mayor.


The regime is likely to agree to early municipal elections including Tbilisi Mayor's election, Levan Vepkhadze, the Chairman of Christian Democrats told the journalists in Rondeli Foundation before the meeting between the parliamentary opposition and Dmitry Shashkin, Minister of Penitentiary, Probation and Legal Assistance. "If the leaders are really ready for the dialogue with opposition, they will have to make certain concessions. Calling early Tbilisi Mayor election is the minimum the leaders might agree to at this stage, - GHN quotes Vepkhadze.

It will be remarked that Dmitry Shashkin held the second round of negotiations with the parliamentary opposition represented by Levan Vepkhadze, Dmitry Lortkipanidze (We Ourselves deputy), Guram Chakhvadze (National Democratic party deputy) and Bachuki Cardava (National Democratic party leader). Several public representatives were invited to the meeting. According to the participants of the meeting they discussed the issue of formation of an ad hoc committee for preparation of a constitutional reform. "This is a long procedure with all details to be discussed", - Dmitry Shashkin is quoted on

Meanwhile the non-parliamentary opposition ignores the proposals of the authorities. They did not attend both meetings with the Probation Minister. The leaders of "the implacable" stated they were ready to negotiate with Mikheil Saakashvili only. The latter however did not have enough courage for a tête-à-tête meeting with the opponents most of whom are his ex teammates.

It is really great success that the young minister managed to seat at least some relentless oppositionists at the round table. Opposition called the proposals of authorities "another attempt to mislead the society and international community".

The authorities decided to sacrifice the post of Tbilisi mayor as a concession. The opposition did not even comment on that as every opposition leader has claims to the presidential post. Though the post of Tbilisi mayor is also strategically important for he holds all voters of the capital in his hands. Mikheil Saakashvili himself stepped up to the presidential seat from the window of sakrebulo (city council). (At the meetings before the Rose Revolution Saakashvili, then sakrebulo chairman, delivered speeches out of his office window - I.P.).

Georgian media reported that Mikheil Nikolayevich was conceiving a "successor" scheme preparing current Tbilisi mayor Giga Ugulava to replace him. According to the authorities they propose a smart buyout. Givi Targamadze, a deputy to the ruling National Movement Party stated that the proposal to call mayor election in spring 2010 was "very reasonable", reports. He says the dominant party offers to start the dialogue with the opposition for modification of the Election Code and Central Election Commission staffing which will give a real opportunity to "win by way of elections if they manage to". Targamadze repeatedly emphasized there would be no other concessions. The ruling party does not consider the possibility of early presidential and parliamentary elections as well as a referendum. Municipal elections are the only constitutional way of change in power, Targamadze believes.

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