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The date for the opposition is fixed2009-05-04 22:04
It has been twenty-five days since the Georgian opposition started its protest actions. The ward-cages erected throughout the center of the city, blocked streets and tent camps - that is what the berhymed Tbilisi looks like today. The dialogue that has been much talked about since April, 9, the starting point of the long-term rallies, has never taken any real shape. The opposition is ready to hold on to the last, that is, until Saakashvili resigns. It his turn, the President has made a decision to draw a line in two weeks, by the 16th of May.
According to Kavkazski uzel, the Georgian authorities have given the initiators of the protest actions time until the 16th of May to clean Rustaveli avenue from the ward-cages. Such decision was conditioned by the necessity to prepare for the Independence Day ceremonial parade that is going to take place on May, 26. It is the first time for the whole period of confrontation that the authorities, which have been so far demonstrating tranquility and affected indifference to the situation, have put the opposition into such tough conditions. They are expecting the opposition to clear the theatricals away and remove the attributes of confrontation from the central streets within ten days before the celebration. Should the oppositionists turn restive again, the
authorities promise to clear up Rustaveli avenue themselves.
By the way, the opposition's application giving right to hold the protest actions in Tbilisi expires the day before the X-hour set by the country government. Meanwhile, the previous day, on the 3rd of May, Chairman of Parliament David Bakradze declared that the Georgian oppositional actions became artificial as there is no necessity to block the city streets. In his interview with GHN Speaker of Parliament also noted: "I believe that what the authorities are doing today is the only correct politics. Because this is the price we pay to maintain the quiet civil situation, this is the price of proving the fact that the radical politics has no future. So whatever the radically-minded politicians do, the only way to achieve a goal is the way of a dialogue and negotiations".
At the same time, David Bakradze pointed out that "the opposition may keep its positions for as long as it wishes to, even with the empty wards and tents until it realizes that we need a dialogue to achieve a goal. We are not going to get in their way". Perhaps, the authorities are hoping that by May, 16 the oppositionists will at last have broken up and will have stopped calling on the people to the new revolutionary changes in the country. However, the opposition representatives declared once again that they are going to leave only upon Saakashvili's resignation. The President traditionally answered that he is ready to discuss urgent issues with the opponents, but no more than that.
In his on-air speech on the 2nd of May broadcasted by Rustavi-2 the Vice Prime Minister of Georgia Grigori Baramidze said that Mikhail Saakashvili "is ready to meet the opposition in order to discuss relevant constructive issues, which, of course, do not include the issue of his resignation". Baramidze pointed out that the authorities' meeting with participation of the President and oppositional leaders may take place, however, without any ultimatums, preconditions, agendas, or "posing in front of the camera".