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Division in the opposition ranks2009-04-15 09:41
The Georgian opposition has declared that this week a wave of protest will sweep through the country with renewed strength. Meanwhile, within their own opposition ranks, which have not been known for their ability to come to agreements, a division can once again be discerned.
Yesterday it was reported that the former prime minister of Georgia, Zurab Nogaideli, and his party "For a Just Georgia" have refused to take any further part in the opposition rallies. Nogaideli reported this in an interview published in the Tbilisi newspaper "Versiya". The newspaper quotes sources within the opposition, reporting that the reason for this decision is that the leaders of certain parties "were against Zurab Nogaideli's participation in the opposition rallies in Tbilisi". According to the newspaper, "these opposition supporters presented the rallies' organizers in Tbilisi with an ultimatum - if Zurab Nogaideli takes part in the actions, they will leave the rally in protest".
So does it seem that opposition members have made up with the former parliamentary speaker Nino Burjanadze, who now heads the party "Democratic movement- United Georgia", but not with the former prime minister Zurab Nogaideli? It's all very strange. But this very fact confirms that there is a division within the opposition ranks; incidentally, signs of this appeared literally during the first couple of days of the initially promising rallies. The leader of the Alliance for Georgia Irakli Alasania said on the second day of the confrontation that the opposition leaders were prepared to hold a dialogue with the regime. In turn, the head of the United Opposition, Levan Gachicheladze, and Burjanadze declared that the only demand of the protesters was the president's resignation.
Then the demonstrators witnessed a showdown between three Georgian women, for whom politics has become their life's cause. The leader of the Imedi party, Irina Sarishvili, and a close ally of Igor Giorgadze according to the Georgian media, did not make a speech from the stand because of the negative attitude of several prominent opposition members towards her. "People espousing the ideology of Igor Giorgadze - who are the killers of Gia Chanturia," said Goga Khaindrava, among others, "cannot stand alongside the opposition." Sarishvili herself thinks that for her "it is categorically unacceptable to stand alongside Burjanadze". And the latter is at daggers drawn with the former foreign minister, Salome Zurabishvili, leader of the opposition party "Georgia's Way". It is said that Mikheil Nikolaevich removed Zurabishvili from her post at Burjanadze's insistence.
The opposition members have repeatedly called on each other to forget their past grievances and unite for a common goal - the dismissal of Saakashvili. But it is not easy to follow these good intentions. Along with all the aforementioned friction, there is clear miscomprehension between the leading opposition figures: Irakli Alasania and Nino Burjanadze.