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Temporal affairs and mayor’s activities2009-05-29 17:53
The opposition changed its tactics and the scene. This time the Mayor's office was the target. Here in the center of Tbilisi opposition supporters held a few hours' protest action on May 28. The apotheosis was throwing eggs at the city administration building façade. The Patriarchate explained that on May 26 it had remained neutral trying to dissipate the tension.
The implacable opposition led by its leaders went straight to the city administration building. "This building will become a new target of the protest actions", - Georgian media quote the protesters. - This building is the nest of Saakashvili's regime". According to David Gamkrelidze co-chairing the Alliance for Georgia Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava is "an operator in the authorities' dirty affairs", GHN reports. Gamkrelidze also called Ugulava "the greatest falsifier of the January 5 presidential election" and "the greatest provoker".
These and other considerations made the opposition move from the parliament building to the municipality. Since April 9 when the anti-government rallies and protest actions began the parliamentary sessions have been held in the regions, not in the building of the supreme legislative authority. On May 28 the Georgian government held its visiting session in Ozurgeti in the west of Georgia.
The oppositionists explain the pickets at the Mayor's office are their response to Gigi Ugulava's appearance in the Saint Trinity Cathedral on May 26. According to the protesters Ugulava met with the leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church and put pressure on the Patriarch which affected the content of the Catholicos's speech. The opposition is convinced: if the Patriarch had sincerely expressed his opinion and supported the people Mikheil Saakashvili would have been forced to leave or openly disobey him. In both cases Saakashvili would have been ruined.
However Ilia II called on the opponents to hear each other, abandon radicalism and arrogance. He also noted the practice Georgia had adopted for the change of presidents had done nothing good to the country. These words of the nation's godfather put the opposition in a tricky situation - they had to offer excuses to their supporters. Georgy Gachechiladze even stated the "Patriarch was taken hostage by Mikheil Saakashvili and his gang. He had meant a different statement for the sermon saying contrary things in the end".
At the demonstration near the Mayor's office Way of Georgia leader Salome Zurabishvili stated the appearance of Mayor Gigi Ugulava in the Trinity Cathedral had been an attempt to provoke people. According to her on May 26 the provokers also took part in the rally in front of the parliament building with the tension of the protesters reaching the limits of control. Zviad Dzidziguri, the Conservative party leader, said the opposition was planning to pursue "targeted protests" and permanent pickets of "strategic facilities", Civil.ge reports.
Nobody knows what tomorrow has in store. If the oppositionists keep their promise and start blocking strategic facilities the authorities might keep theirs - punish them as set forth by law. Ilia II is again willing to prevent an open confrontation. The Georgian Patriarchate called on the country's authorities to do their best in order to diffuse the dangerous tension.
Some notes on Ilia II's liturgy on May 26 appeared. The authorities interpreted the Patriarch's address as the speech in their support. As mentioned above the oppositionists didn't conceal their disappointment. The Patriarchate cleared up the situation.