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Lado Gurgenidze dismissed2008-10-29 11:01
The parliamentary commission investigating the August conflict officially made claims against the Georgian prime minister. The chairman of the commission Paata Davitaya declared on 27th October that the commission was dissatisfied with the government's work and that it should resign. On the same day Saakashvili's faithful comrade-in-arms was stripped of his post. It is predicted that Georgia's ambassador to Turkey Grigol Mgaloblishvili will take his place.
This sudden dismissal can perhaps be explained as an attempt to make advances towards the opposition. It seems that Saakashvili is intending to improve his popularity in a tried and tested way. By sacrificing two or three of his comrades-in-arms from the ‘Rose Revolution'. The dismissal of the prime minister was preceded by intensified rhetoric from the Georgian opposition. Just a few hours before the dismissal the general secretary of the Labour party Iosif Shatberashvili declared that the temporary parliamentary commission for studying the August events was a shield for Mikhail Saakashvili. According to the opposition politician, if this commission were working conscientiously, it would have long since demanded the president's resignation, as well as
that of the minister of defence David Kezerashvili, the mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulavu and the secretary of the Security Council Aleksandr Lomay.
"They are criminals, since the August events were carried out under their leadership. They say that it was a 5-day war, but actually it was a one-day war. The Georgian authorities lost it in a day. The Georgian army held out for just five days, which had a negative impact on the moral and psychological state of the nation."
The statement from the general secretary of the Georgian Labour party was made in the run-up to the opposition protest action planned for 7th November. Last year the authorities dispersed the November protest action with water cannons and tear gas. In the end one person was killed and a further 200 ended up in hospital. The opposition has recalled this slaughter and on 7th November will bring its supporters out onto the streets of Tbilisi. In Shatberashvili's opinion the authorities will not be brave enough now to break it up in that way.
"It's not the same authorities that were under Bush's wing, and what's more Bush is almost not the US president any more. Therefore I don't think that on 7th November anyone will dare to carry out anything similar," stressed the Labour general secretary.
Last year the demonstrators were demanding an immediate meeting with the speaker of parliament Nino Burjanadze. But in return they got a dose of tear gas. The now ex-speaker and chairman of the foundation "For democratic development" will herself be going out to strike in front of the parliament.
"Georgia is entering a period of the gravest political crisis, because "the war was lost, and this was followed by senseless and cynical propaganda," says Burjanadze. "Unprecedented control over the media and business has been established, aimed at shoring up the authorities. This could have lamentable consequences."