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Staking on elections2010-01-18 17:29
Lately, the press covering the events in Georgia has been mainly focused upon the observers who were present at the presidential elections in Ukraine. Meanwhile, an interesting situation is developing in Georgia as well. For instance, on Monday, January 18, leader of oppositional movement Defend Georgia and former candidate for presidency Levan Gachechiladze stated that Georgia has been developing anti-American attitude. Besides, the oppositionist said that he told the same thing to American Senator John McCain in the course of his visit to Georgia on January 11 this year. "Let no one cherish an illusion that America is popular here", - Gachechiladze added.
A day before, on Sunday, leaders of the Georgian opposition met with Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and Foreign Minister of Switzerland Micheline Calmy-Rey. In the course of the meeting they spoke about the significant aggravation of the political and socio-economical situation in Georgia that has developed over the last half a year. As was stated by leader of the Democratic Movement - United Georgia party Nino Burjanadze, "Madam Calmy-Rey admitted that the situation in Georgia described by the opposition fundamentally differs from the one represented by the power structures".
As one can see, the situation is rather tense. Let us note that in the course of the meeting Burjanadze focused upon the violations on the part of the Georgian government as to the respect for human rights, as well as upon political reprisals and the pressure on the media and the court. As she says, "Georgia is turning into a totalitarian country where there is no space for democracy". That is a sharp statement indeed, the more so as it was made not by an outcast but by the former chairman of the country parliament. It is also interesting that the meeting resulted in the oppositional leaders' request addressed to Calmy-Rey to send the European Council's representatives to Georgia, first of all, to maintain control over the legality of the cases of political prisoners carried in the country. Coming back to Gachechiladze's speech, one should pay attention to the fact that the oppositional politician is sure that in May Saakashvili will venture fixing the local elections. In his opinion, "Saakashvili is a criminal, a misanthrope violating the law" and that is why the oppositional forces should support the possible protest wave.
Thus, it is absolutely clear that the opposition has got a rather decisive attitude and, of course, it is only the president of Georgia who is to blame for the current situation. Within a month, there has been the scandalous visit of McCain, a scandal about the elections of the chairman of the Central electoral committee, the Georgian observers at the Ukrainian elections; all these facts speak for Saakashvili's uncompromising pro-American position and his complete unwillingness to consider someone else's opinion. One should bear in mind that for the Georgian opposition, the local elections scheduled for this May is a real chance to snatch the leverages on the regional level, or, perhaps, in the capital.