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It is also possible not to be president…2009-03-12 12:54
It is now spring, and there is still no agreement among the ranks of the Georgian opposition. Saakashvili's opponents cannot agree on a joint strategy. Both the United Opposition and the Alliance for Georgia are collecting signatures from among the population in support of the president's resignation. But each organization is probably doing this for themselves. However, yesterday the opposition declared that it was still too early to talk about presidential candidates.
This statement was made by the leader of the Alliance for Georgia, Irakli Alasania. "The question of candidates for the presidential election will be raised once free elections are called in Georgia," the Trend news agency quotes his comment made in an interview with journalists.
At the same time, Alasania remarked that "all the main opposition forces agree that a constitutional and peaceful regime change must take place". Admittedly, they don't know how to carry this out. Alasania himself is no exception. For the time being, the response to the ultimatum rejected by the regime has been merely the announcement of a plebiscite. In an interview with the Tbilisi newspaper Akhali Taoba (New Generation), he said: "Soon we will go to various regions of Georgia and will present the population with our plan for holding this plebiscite. Together with experts we have also started work on a strategy for Georgia's development - on issues of the economy, domestic and foreign policy, but we need time to create this strategy". How much exactly, he did not clarify. The question is whether the more radical section of the opposition forces are willing to grant them this time?
We should also remember that the leaders of the New Right and Republican parties, which are part of the Alliance for Georgia, presented Alasania as their candidate for president on the very day of the founding of the movement, on 25th February. However, it is not entirely clear why the candidate himself, on whom many opposition politicians are counting, has stated a month hence that they can wait a little while before putting forward candidates to be president.
Incidentally, several Georgian political parties have also named their presidential candidates. For example, the Labour party has put forward its leader Shalva Natelashvili. The leader of the party "Democratic Movement - United Georgia", Nino Burjanadze, has also declared her presidential ambitions. None of the declared presidential candidates has relinquished their plans. Although they still need to fight for elections. Moreover, some of the opposition support the idea of a parliamentary government.
At the same time, people in the corridors of power are talking about some secret talks between Alasania and Saakashvili. It is said that the former close allies are holding talks about "putting the brakes on the situation" and limiting themselves to carrying out not a presidential, but a parliamentary election. The leaders of the Republican and New Right parties have, it has to be said, already denied these rumours. But politics is the art of the possible, as they say. So we can only guess at the upcoming manoeuvres of the regime and the opposition.
Meanwhile, it is interesting to hear the opinion of the former Georgian president, Eduard Shevardnadze. He recently denied rumours that he was coordinating the actions of the Georgian opposition. "I am both a politician and a pensioner, I am not getting involved in the political life of the country, I am not meeting with either the authorities or opposition politicians," said Shevardnadze.