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Parliamentarians in search of the answer: does opposition get paid in rubles or in euro?2009-06-23 19:01
A new scandal in Georgia's political circles - this time over money. Parliamentarians want to know where the opposition gets money from. The authorities and President Saakashvili himself repeatedly stated the radicals were allegedly financed from Russia - either by the Kremlin, or Georgian political refugees or mafia bosses. But recently it was Levan Gachechiladze to add fuel to the fire saying he was abroad to "find money for further struggle".
Levan Gachechiladze refrained from specifying the details of his trip. "The authorities must realize: yes, I went to seek money. It can be interpreted in different ways but I know I'm honest before my country. There will come a day and I will say where I went and whom I met with. I came with quite an optimistic promise. We need money for our victory and for our action to go on", - Civil.ge quotes Gachechiladze's address to the people in front of the parliament in Rustaveli Avenue. He added: "I'm deeply convinced this money will reach us very soon and we'll offer new strategic and tactical elements for our struggle to continue".
Today's Parliamentary Bureau was totally dedicated to the issue of the opposition's funds. Which is not surprising: it's been three months since the start of rallies and protest actions, the opponents' money should have ended by now and the whole protest should have been blown off like a balloon. Even the branded business of the opposition - production of cell cages the opposition barricaded half of the capital with - has been derailed. And indeed by summertime the heat of the protests began subsiding slowly but steadily. However the opposition managed to raise money again. And not in Russia - the source of all troubles - but in Europe, that is sure (for Gachechiladze was on a tour around Europe).
Georgy Gabashvili and Shota Malashkhia representing the ruling parliamentary majority stated they were going to find out whether "this money was not doubtful and whether the opposition would get it from Russia or not". Though Georgian oppositionists repeatedly stated they had no "discrediting connections" with Russia and certainly they were not funded therefrom.
All Monday (which traditionally is a hard day) the parliamentarians were trying to define the sources of the opposition's funds. David Bakradze, the Speaker of Parliament called on the implacable to present explanations where the money comes from. "By law it is forbidden for the political parties to rely on funds from abroad. That is why last year we adopted a resolution on large-scale financing of the political forces from the budget", - Bakradze is quoted by GHN.
Vice Speaker of Parliament Levan Vepkhadze of the Christian Democratic Party supported his non-parliamentary soul mates saying the search of financing facilities abroad was connected with the pressure the country's authorities put on business people to prevent Georgian entrepreneurs from financing the opposition.
The parliamentary majority didn't have to search for words. Zurab Melikishvili, Secretary General of the ruling United National Movement stated "the business community finances stability and not specific opposition parties, and naturally it will not provide funds to the political force oriented on destabilization of the country". The authorities repeatedly accused the opposition of aggravating the economic crisis purporting there could have been no crisis but for the protest actions.
In reply Vepkhadze reminded the representatives of the majority of a scandalous fact: in the course of last year's parliamentary election 12 political parties out of 13 spent 1 mln lari and the ruling United National Movement dropped 12 mln.