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Authorities and opposition arguing about majority2009-04-03 12:59
Oppositional Alliance for Georgia announced the plebiscite results. According to the Alliance's statement 85% of country citizens call for Saakashvili's resignation with less than 15% supporting him. The authorities retort this plebiscite is not even a public survey. But the radical opposition that is against any dialogue with the authorities is convinced that from now on according to the plebiscite results its demands are in line with people's will.
What's next? This question has become rhetoric in Georgia as nobody is able to answer it. Neither the authorities, nor the opposition calling out all over the country have managed to come to a compromise. The initiators of April 9 rally have come forward with a joint statement on refusal to dialogue with the government accusing it of intended misinformation of the citizens and world community. As nregion reports the statement is endorsed by Irakli Alasania (Alliance for Georgia), Nino Burdzhanadze (Democratic Movement - United Georgia) and Salome Zurabishvili (Way of Georgia). It was also signed by Levan Gachechiladze, United Opposition leader, and its representatives - Conservative Party leader Zviad Dzidziguri, People's Party leader Koba Davitashvili and a
representative of ex Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili's Movement for United Georgia Eka Beselia.
In the run-up to April 9 the situation in Georgia is heating up. Both the authorities and the opposition believe that the people are on their side. That is why the plebiscite results carried out by Alliance for Georgia are interpreted in their own way. For instance the leader of parliamentary majority Petre Tsiskarishvili states that the plebiscite is not serious as it is contrary to simple requirements of a public survey. The opposition as usual is not unanimous here. Levan Vepkhadze, Vice Speaker of Parliament representing Christian Democrats said that at the moment the plebiscite results were not convincing. He believes at least half of the citizens should be polled. If at least one million respondents stand for the president's resignation then "this result would be a verdict for the country leaders and must be taken into account", Vepkhadze is quoted on nregion.
Non-parliamentary opposition leaders assert the plebiscite results are quite indicative. Maybe there is some truth in the arguments of opposition and counterarguments of authorities. It is not completely clear why as a result of the poll carried out by United Opposition only 100 thousand signatures were collected for the president's resignation while Alliance for Georgia managed to poll over 400 thousand people 350 thousand of whom favor early elections for a much shorter period.
Georgia Times observer turned to Ramaz Sakvarelidze, a Georgian politologist, to understand particularities of a plebiscite and a referendum in Georgia and their eventual consequences. Ramaz Sakvarelidze specified that a referendum rejected by the authorities not being a mandatory act is still legally effective. The plebiscite has no legal force at all. What is the difference between a plebiscite and a public survey? A public survey is meant for a fixed number of people, while a plebiscite is a population-wide event. However as the interviewee believes, regardless of lack of legal effect, a plebiscite like a public survey has a significant psychological influence and forms people's attitude.
"Say, Alasania came to politics a few months ago, - Sakvarelidze recalls, - but he has the highest rating. He has been the leader of all polls. While Saakashvili's rating has gone down.