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Will Saakashvili’s resignation be withdrawn?2009-04-20 21:02
The meetings of the European "dove of peace", Piter Semnebi, a special representative of the European Union in the Southern Caucasus, with the uncompromising opponents of the Georgian government have successfully taken place. A dialogue between Semnebi and the Georgian expert society was the finishing touch of Semnebi's peace-support mission. EU advises the opposition to "leave aside" the request for the President's resignation and recommends the state government to make concessions. The parties have listened to the advice but seemed to remain of the same opinion.
After the final conversation with Piter Semnebi, a special EU representative in the region, the Georgian experts have shared their ideas. Soso Tsiskarishvili believes that the contact between the opposite parties is inevitable: "However, there are plenty of technical issues, including those regarding the agenda and negotiations. I believe that the role of such mediator might be successfully imposed upon the President of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus". In the opinion of Georgi Khutsishvili, the first thing is to fix the negotiation mode: "A dialogue has become a common word; our first consideration is to arrange the form of a dialogue between the parties that would let them submit their propositions. According to Zurab Abashidze, the dialogue should start without
any preconditions. Vladimir Papava is inclined to think that the solution must consider the people's opinion and believes a referendum to be the best way out.
According to the "Commersant" radio station, which is referring to the Tbilisi office of radio "Svoboda", the European Union advises the opposition to "leave aside" the request for resignation. After the meeting with the opposition, Semnebi himself says: "Both parties must make concessions; a request for the President's resignation is a legitimate request of the people, but, in our view, the opposition should "leave this request aside" and start negotiating on the social and economic issues and the issue of amending the constitution. It is very important that the government should not use these negotiations as a tool for pressing the opposition and marginalization". Semnebi also underlined that if no solution to the current problems is found at the moment, their recurrence is very likely. A similar situation may happen again in two, four or 12 months.
For the moment, only "Alliance for Georgia" is ready to negotiate with the authorities. Nino Burdzhanadze, the leader of "Democratic movement - United Georgia", after the meeting with Semnebi noticed that the authorities keep trying to sow discord within the opposition, as Civil.ge reports. She gave the following example: Alasania said that he was ready to conduct a dialogue with Saakashvili, and the agenda will include the resignation issue, while the "Rustavi-2" channel reported that Alasania was ready to discuss other issues with the authorities in the context of the dialogue as well.
Burdzhanadze has no doubt that "neither tomorrow, nor the day after tomorrow" none of the oppositional parties is going to change its opinion as to the fact that the only possible subject to discuss with the authorities is "the most early and painless resignation of the President". In her turn, Ecka Beselia, the leader of the "Movement for the United Georgia" (Irakli Okruashvili's party), who has also met with Peter Semnebi, repeated that "Saakashvili has exhausted his potential" and "only a peaceful resignation can be the subject of any discussion, but not that the request for resignation might be changed". Leaders of the "Alliance for freedom" and "National forum" expressed the same opinion.