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The newly created alliance of the Georgian opposition is gathering strength2008-12-11 10:06
On 8th December the creators of the alliance declared in particular that "it is meant as a long-term prospect, rather than aimed for the next elections". They also said that the aim of the union is to change the regime through extraordinary presidential and parliamentary elections, and to overcome the political and economic crisis within the country.
It is already known that the ‘Movement for a United Georgia', headed by the former defence minister Irakli Okurashvili, is very seriously examining the prospect of joining the alliance. "We will hold consultations. We're not ruling anything out. We are following the political processes closely," said the General Secretary of the Movement Eka Beselia. According to her, many opposition leaders "have been waiting for this union", and this trend will help to increase political culture in the country. In Beselia's opinion, the existence of a large number of political parties causes the "fragmentation of the political resources which should be aimed at fighting Mikheil Saakashvili's regime".
The Conservatives are, for the time being, refraining from making any unequivocal assessments, but also do not rule out cooperating. As The New Region reports, the General Secretary of the Conservative party of Georgia and one of the leaders of the United Opposition Kakha Kukava remarked: "We are ready to consult with and work alongside various political forces, including the new alliance. We have said repeatedly that we are supporters of a broad union".
A spokesman for the ‘Industralists' party Zurab Tkemaladze foresees a bright future for the bloc: "The Republicans and the New Right party are pro-Western, progressive forces in the state. They have enormous potential to create a strong political coalition in a future parliament in Georgia." Whether the Industrialists are intending to increase this potential by participating themselves will soon become clear.
Yet, it is being predicted that the alliance will be broadened and strengthened not just due to more parties becoming involved. Very soon it will include new figures - recognisable and respected ones, as the Georgian media report. Above all, the leaders of the union themselves have confirmed that consultations have been held with Nino Burjanadze. Admittedly, the New Right party is making the prospect of uniting with the "iron lady" conditional upon her rejecting any presidential ambitions. In other words, in order not to cause problems for Irakli Alasania, the only candidate whom the alliance would like to see as the future head of state. It is not especially clear to what extent the demand by just one of the parties making up the union is crucial to it being fulfilled. It seems that now we just need to wait for Nino Anzorovna's response.
It is highly likely that Georgia's Public Defender Sozar Subari will also appear on the political stage.
The newspaper Resonance reports that as soon as the ombudsman leaves his post and retires from politics, he will probably join the new union. In an interview with the same publication the political secretary of the New Right party Pikria Chikhradze confirms: "Mr. Subari would be an acceptable partner for the alliance".
The public defender long ago entered into a confrontation with the authorities. He took part in the protest actions of November last year. And even received a head injury when the rally was being dispersed. This year he has repeatedly called for international organizations not to close their eyes to the infringement of human rights in Georgia. Following the August events he established the voluntary movement "For freedom and equality", which representatives of the non-parliamentary opposition and a series of voluntary organizations joined.