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Authorities leave the middle opposition at the bottom of the ladder2009-11-20 17:31
The Georgian politics has long been developing on the basis of paradoxes that generally lead to conflicts. At present, another turn of confrontation is coming against the background of political lull. Unlike in spring, the opposition is calling upon the ruling majority to get down to the negotiating table to reform the electoral code and is already accusing the authorities of developing another scheme of fixing the elections.
On the one hand, the country has obviously overcome political crisis, at least, its highest point, and there has been no second wave of the street actions. On the other hand, the opposition has got not intention to wave the white flag. At the same time, the authorities do not want to make any earlier stated concessions, having realized their victory in this round. This seems to be a stalemate, a paradoxical situation. Unlike in spring, the opposition is calling upon the ruling majority to get down to the negotiating table to reform the electoral code.
In the heat of the spring protest actions the ruling majority made every possible effort to bring the opponents to the negotiating table. Mikhail Nikolaevitch has met with his former associates who have jointly turned into opposition. Leaders of the ruling majority were talking about various democratic concessions.
The authorities even decided to sacrifice the post of mayor of the capital, while the opposition did not make a single comment on the matter. Well, every oppositional leader claims the president's chair, although the post of Mayor of Tbilisi has also got certain strategic importance, so long as he supervises the whole of the capital electorate. As to Mikhail Nikolaevitch, he stepped into the president's chair from the window of the chairman of Sacrebulo, the City Assembly. (At the meetings preceding the Rose Revolution Saakashvili, who was head of Sacrebulo then, was delivering his speeches out of the window of his study - I.P.).
A kind of compromise was found then. The opposition decided to be thankful for small favors, that is, for direct elections of the Mayor of Tbilisi (this initiative belongs to Saakashvili) and electoral code reforming, which was to protect the coming municipal elections from being fixed.
The very fact of establishing a commission on electoral code reformation, which comprised representatives of the government and the opposition, was several times on the verge of being disrupted. The radicals never agreed to join the commission's work, while Alliance for Georgia (comprising the Republicans and the New Rights) and several more representatives of the middle opposition have been working with the ruling team for several months already.
Oppositional activists even revealed the names of their candidates for the post of Mayor of Tbilisi. Alliance for Georgia was the first to report it by nominating Irakliy Alasania. The People's Party nominated its leader Koba Davitashvili. According to non-official information, the candidate of the Christian Democrats is the former president of the International Oil Corporation of Georgia Gia Chanturia. Recently, one of the leaders of the Conservatives Zviad Dzidziguri also nominated his own candidature for the post of Mayor of Tbilisi. The nomination of a single candidate from the opposition so far remains a fond hope.
The only candidate of the ruling United National Movement has already been defined: it is the current Mayor of Tbilisi Georgi Ugulava.