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Sunday, 24 June 2018


Georgia: authorities and opposition keep pursuing their own interests

2009-05-13 12:45

2683.jpegA month since the start of the protest rallies President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili has finally met with the non-parliamentary opposition leaders. Tbilisians hoped they would reach some kind of agreement which would free the city from heaps of street garbage and traffic jams. But... the opposition announced extension of rallies calling for "total mobilization" of the people.


Mikheil Nikolaevich himself called the meeting with the opposition leaders on May 11 in the Interior Ministry a historic event. "We managed to make a step forward to civilized relations in politics", "today is the victory day of Georgian democracy", "we agree that the dialogue must continue. Naturally this is a step forward". These are extracts from Saakashvili's speech to the journalists after his meeting with the opponents.

The opponents however are not so optimistic threatening to stage new protest actions and accusing Saakashvili of "inadequacy". What made the oppositionists so furious? The president is sticking to the concessions he made before meaning that as a legitimately elected president he will remain in power till 2013. This time is sufficient to implement a judicial reform and amend the election code together with the opposition. Governmental appointments for representatives of the opposition were discussed. Two hours of talks - duration of the meeting - and the parties outlined their former positions.

Eventually the opposition declared failure of the negotiations. The United Opposition leader, ex presidential candidate Levan Gachechiladze stated the positions remained antithetic. "The president believes everything is fine in the country and we think everything is wrong. This is the only result of the meeting", - Georgian media quote.

Later the same evening immediately after the long-expected meeting with the president the oppositionists held another demonstration near the parliament. Way of Georgia leader Salome Zurabishvili declared that Saakashivili lived in virtual reality believing the country was not in mid-crisis and convinced "he had won the war in August 2008". Neither did Saakashvili approve of dismissal of power officials detested by the opposition - Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili, his deputy Bacho Akhalaya and Irakly Kodua heading the operations department.

Democratic Movement - United Georgia leader Nino Burdzhanadze was most implacable. She did not attend the meeting with the president stating "she was 99% sure Saakashvili would refuse to step down".

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