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A general has sided with rebellious diplomats2009-02-25 10:32
Gia Karkarashvili, Georgia's defence minister during Shevardnadze's rule, announced yesterday that he was joining the former ambassador to the UN Irakli Alasania's team. Political commentators regard this as significantly strengthening the opposition, which is preparing to overthrow Saakashvili.
Gia Karkarashvili left politics soon after victory in the Rose Revolution in 2004. Throughout the time of the "revolutionary reforms" and the numerous cataclysms, the name of the young general, who young Georgian boys once wanted to be like, was forgotten. He reappeared at the centre of the public's attention after the August events. The general criticised the regime for the way in which the fighting was carried out, and had no hesitation in making harsh statements, such as: "In effect, we had already been defeated on the morning of 8th August", and "The regime left weapons, the dead and its honour on the battlefield" etc.
Meanwhile, Georgian political commentators think that Karkarashvili is the kind of figure who could enrich any political team. The political commentator Ramaza Sakvarelidze gave the following characterization of him on Georgian internet publications: "He has the support of both Georgian veterans who are aiming for stability and people who experienced the war who are well aware of the cost of peace."
The Georgian media have also reported that another defence minister from under Shevardnadze, David Tevzadze, plans to return to politics. Just like Karkarashvili, he was present at the presentation of Irakli Alasania's political team last week.
The team of the Georgia's former ambassador to the UN, who left for the opposition last December, includes diplomats who resigned in disagreement with the authorities' policies. Their slogan is "Let's create the future today", and they are looking to bring about Saakashvili's dismissal by constitutional means. However, in just a week, the opposition diplomats have acquired support among some members of the military, who, as we know, have now returned to the fore.