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Okruashvili likely to break Easter timeout2009-04-17 12:48
The Georgian opposition is taking a timeout for non-working Easter holidays on April 17-20. However the improvised prison cells symbolizing police tyranny near the presidential residence and the tent camps at the walls of the parliament and Public TV building will not be removed. After Easter the opposition promises to offer the last and most decisive battle. The experts believe that probably then the dialogue will take place or the situation goes out of control in case the opponents do not manage to find a common language.
It should be remarked that on April 15 the Georgian opposition made controversial statements on their action plan for Easter. At first it was announced that the protest actions would be suspended as most people are respectful of Church laws. Then as Georgian media report Secretary General of Movement for United Georgia Eka Beselia said at the briefing: "We believe it very important to continue protesting and picketing. The protests must not be interrupted for the Easter days". Salome Zurabishvili, Way of Georgia leader noted in her turn: "There will be no marches, no music but the actions won't stop. There are the churches nearby where people can go to light a candle".
The opposition leaders promised that from April 21 the country will be overtaken by a new protest wave with rallies to be started in the regions. "After Easter the third and the last wave of protests will start to end in our victory", - Zurabishvili asserts. Will the oppositionists be ready to go on the offensive? The ranks of protestors are getting thinner each day even though most people are disillusioned with Saakashvili's politics. According to Gullup and IPM social poll results only 26% of the population positively evaluate the president's actions and only a third of Georgians believe in the victory of the opposition. These are the results of the public survey carried out by Kviris Palitra this week. The experts explain this attitude by the opposition's inability to get really united, absence of a charismatic leader and non-presentation of any definite anti-crisis program to the population.
However the opposition is not going to give in. Before the Easter time out the authorities were repeatedly threatened with the appearance of Irakli Okruashvili "who will make his contribution" in Georgia, as Teya Tlashadze, an activist of Movement for United Georgia established by the ex-minister said, Novosti-Gruzia reports. Before the start of the rallies Eka Beselia, the party's Secretary General stated that Okruashvili would come to Tbilisi in spring without specifying the date to maintain the disgraced politician's security.
Now the party members assert that the recent incident with a Turkish jet landing at Vasiani military aerodrome strip instead of Tbilisi international airport is connected with the Georgian "hawk" specifying that "the authorities were searching for Okruashvili there". The official version is the Turkish pilot's incompetence and his subsequent resignation as Georgian media reported. Nevertheless Teya Tlashadze keeps saying that among the passengers allegedly there was a namesake of the ex Defense minister that is why the authorities made the jet land in the distance surrounding it with militaries and the police. "The Georgian authorities put in jeopardy the lives of so many people for their panic fear of Irakli Okruashvili, a dangerous opponent", - VZGLYAD quotes Tlashadze's words.
The Turkish jet story is as vague as the prospects of Okruashvili's return to Georgia. However his arrival might dramatically change the course of lengthy peaceful rallies.