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Two ultimatums for Saakashvili2009-02-26 09:26
The last week of February started quite loudly with the opposition presenting an ultimatum to the president of Georgia. Two ultimatums in fact.
On February 23 there appeared "Alliance for Georgia", a new political association, on a colorful political arena of the country. The rumors that have been exciting the public for three months are eventually justified: the Republicans, New Rights and the team of rebellious diplomats led by Georgia's ex Ambassador to the UN Irakli Alasania have joined forces. The same day the newborn alliance urged Saakashvili to schedule a referendum on early presidential elections with only 10 days for consideration. Besides the leader of Way of Georgia opposition party, ex Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili presented another ultimatum to Saakashvili: resignation before April 9.
"If our referendum request is not satisfied we reserve the right to act on behalf of the country and the people, - Irakli Alasania is quoted by information agencies. Salome Zurabishvili is also generous giving out promises: otherwise beware of protest actions and maybe even another revolution. Only its color is left to be defined. This is the conclusion derived from the speeches of the politicians.
Mass protest actions in spring were proclaimed long ago. By spring there comes the leader: "Alliance for Georgia" has already proposed Irakli Alasania as a presidential candidate. According to GHN IA it was stated by David Usupashvili, the leader of the Republican party of Georgia co-chairing the alliance.
Irakli Alasania seems to favor the new rules of the game on the political scene of Georgia: so that political issues were solved not in the street and not using fists and not by way of revolution. Georgia's latest history has no president resigning voluntarily. Zviad Gamsakhurdia was raised to the top of power by the wave of post-Soviet nationalism. Already a year later the Tbilisi war struck and he was overthrown. Edward Shevarnadze was ruling for record 11 years. Then the Rose Revolution came. Mikheil Nikolaevich has been in power for six years already. The wave of public discontent threatens to turn into a destructive tsunami. Will Alasania be able to introduce new forms of change of power in the country?
It is not all that easy. Part of the Georgian opposition is skeptical about "Alliance for Georgia". For instance Kakha Kukava, the Conservative leader, complained: "Now is not a good time to form alliances - a large opposition coalition must be established". Laborists, as usual, made loud statements. Their leader, Shalva Natelashvili stated that Irakli Alasania "would be Misha-2 in case he came to power". If for some reason Alasania does not manage to become president then, as the leader of Laborists believes, there are two candidates in reserve - Nino Burdzhanadze, the leader of "Democratic Movement - United Georgia", and Zurab Nogaideli, the leader of "Movement for Fair Georgia". However Georgian media have noticed Burdzhanadze's attempts to distance herself from Alasania.
In this way or another the situation is getting hot. There are ultimatums from "Alliance for Georgia" and from ex Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili. Her statement was quoted literally by all information agencies: "April 9 is the last day of Mikheil Saakashvili's regime. April 9 is the start of protest actions that won't stop until Saakashvili regime and his system are overthrown".
The date is embarrassing. Twenty years ago, on April 9 1989 the meeting of protesters against Soviet power was dispersed resulting in 20 deaths.