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The opposition are between a presidential and parliamentary republic2009-03-24 09:12
There is a new association on Georgia's political stage. Four parties - the Women's Party, the Party of the Future, Freedom and the Union of Traditionalists - have created the "Alliance for Freedom". Will the new alliance become an alternative to the Alliance for Georgia, headed by Irakli Alasania? The Georgian political stage suffers from a multitude of similarly named parties and blocs. Nino Burjanadze's "Democratic Movement - United Georgia" and Irakli Okurashvili's "Movement for a United Georgia" have even taken their dispute over the similarity of their party names to court.
In the new alliance, the names of the party leaders say a lot. The Women's Party is headed by Giuli Magradze, who was once an influential figure in parliament. The press has reported on Magradze's closeness to the president's family. Her joining the opposition was unexpected.
Magradze was one of the first to leave the pro-presidential National Movement - straight after the breaking up of the rally in November 2007 - and to have the courage to go into confrontation with the regime. Admittedly, she has recently refrained from making any provocative statements.
The leader of the "Freedom" party is the son of the first president, Konstantin Gamsakhurdia. It should be noted that after the events of November 2007, he was accused of working alongside the Russian intelligence services, and criminal proceedings were brought against him accordingly.
At the head of the Party of the Future is Gia Maisashvili, who was intended to take over in Matthew Bryza's post. But Maisashvili did not end up conquering America. But then again, it is said that in autumn 2004 he was involved in organizing the election campaign of John Kerry, the Democrat candidate in the US presidential election. So Maisashvili could quite possibly find a common language with the Democrats who have installed themselves in the White House. Admittedly, five years ago he was an image consultant and economic adviser for Saakashvili, who had headed up the Rose Revolution. Disputes emerged between the two almost immediately after victory in the revolution. Since then, Maisashvili has gone over to the opposition. In a recent interview with Radio Kommersant, he observed: "America needs Russia's help to solve the problems of Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. There is a need to improve relations with Moscow. But the situation that has developed in Georgia makes this problematic. A new government would give Georgia the chance to wipe the slate clean and would help to normalize relations between America and Russia."
The leaders of the parties which have united to form the Alliance for Freedom are unusual figures, but how are they intending to act in the current difficult situation that has emerged in the country? The leader of the Traditionalists, Akaki Asatiani, told your GeorgiaTimes correspondent about the aims, tasks and priorities of the new association.
"All the parties that united to form the Alliance for Freedom are part of the committee, which is organizing the protest actions on 9th April. We are one of the initiators of the action and do not intend to back down, we will keep on going till the end."
"How does your alliance's programme differ from those of other parties, which are also demanding Saakashvili's resignation?"