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Preventive protests2010-02-05 08:44
The impression that Georgia has put up with the necessity of getting along with Mikhail Saakashvili until 2013 is rather deceptive. The spring hormones are again pushing the opposition into the streets. Although there are no demands of the president's resignation this year, the April action will again be aimed against the ruling regime. The action should warn the authorities against the attempts of stealing the coming elections of the Mayor of Tbilisi. Or, is there anything else it should do?
There is no longer a single trace of the former maximalism in the ranks of the Georgian opposition. Last year, all the non-parliamentary parties and some of the parliamentary ones got ready for the meetings in Georgia, demanding "all or nothing", while today the scale and the demands are much more moderate.
The "street leaders" have drawn a good lesson out of the last spring events: it is practically unreal to attain the president's resignation so long as the West is providing material assistance to the country. No matter how many crimes he has committed, whatever tough corner he has driven the country in, another revolution is impossible so long as the pensioners and state employees are paid and the new enterprises are established, even if it is sheer window-dressing.
Thus, at the end of the summer some of those who did not like Saakashvili's policy agreed to negotiate. They failed, however, for the authorities made the promised concessions in a way that strengthened their own position.
The mayoral elections in the strategic city of Tbilisi became direct; still, the 30-percent barrier remained valid, which plays into the hands of the candidate nominated by the ruling majority, the current Mayor of the capital Gigi Ugulava.
The Alliance for Georgia, which consisted of the republicans, the New Rights and Irakli Alasania's party Our Georgia - Free Democrats, regretted its participation in the development of amendments to Electoral Code. The government treacherously took advantage of it, having said that the new draft law became the result of a consensus with the opposition. However, none of the non-parliamentary parties put its signature under the agreement.
The uncompromising opposition, Nino Burjanadze with her Democratic Movement United Georgia, Salome Zurabishvili and the Way of Georgia, Eka Beselia with Movement for United Georgia, and Shalva Natelashvili with the Laborites party tried to raise the people to the protest actions in autumn, but in vain.