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Sunday, 23 October 2016


What is to be done? The Georgian opposition has got no answer to this question

10.06.2009  |  21:04

3017.jpegThe Georgian opposition has marked the second month of its confrontation with the authorities by new mass manifestations, having organized a "live chain" round the buildings of MFA, Public prosecutor's office, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Environment of Georgia located in the Ortchala region at some distance from the capital center.


This is a new turn in the oppositional tactics. It looks like the opposition deliberately left the center of Tbilisi, either trying to expand the range of the protest actions, or deliberately putting its supporters at risk. It has been only a month since the police fired rubber bullets at the demonstrators that besieged the building of Chief Administration of MIA on May, 7.

Unlike in November 2007, this bloody incident did not serve as an overture to the forceful resolution of the protest scenario.

At the request of Patriarchy, the authorities made concessions by releasing the young men that had been detained the day before and offered the oppositional leaders a meeting with President Saakashvili. As is known, the meeting was fruitless; however, it sowed certain discord in the ranks of the Georgian opposition that cannot be called unanimous even without that.

May was distinguished by the staged Mukhrovani "mutiny" which was heroically cut short by Mikhail Nikolaevitch without a single shot but solely due to his "charismatic charm". This fact was recorded by a dozen of video and photo cameras and replicated worldwide.

A "witch-hunt" followed; the role of witches was played by the retired generals and several high-ranking officials of the defense administrations. This time, firing was inevitable: one man was killed and two wounded.

Saakashvili and his henchmen tried to pick up "the Russian trail" in the Mukhrovani events but stuck in the mire again. As to the opposition, it had been slowly running out of its power.

And now, according to one of the oppositional leaders Levan Gachechiladze, by holding another multi-thousand action, the oppositionists have demonstrated to the world the intensity of protests against the current government's policy in the Georgian society. "We have come out against unlawfulness, we demand Saakashvili's resignation and an early election", - he said, adding that the oppositional actions are going to be continued in a more energetic manner".

Andrey Epiphantsev, an independent political expert that has recently appeared in the Сaucasia Еxperts periodical with a large analytical article called "Five questions to put to the Georgian opposition", believes that in its fight against the unwanted president, the opposition "has shown a method of forceful overthrow of power without a single action of force, which is quite new for Georgia and is hardly ever practiced in the world".

The author of the article attributes such revolutionary political correctness to the opposition's desire not to cause any possible dissatisfaction of the West. "The fact that the opposition has been counting upon the USA is quite clear. America's influence upon positioning the figures on the Georgian political chessboard is enormous, - Andrey Epiphantsev says. - Even if we take into account all the other factors evidencing against the opposition this fact could be enough to announce them winners". Still, as we have already pointed out, the American patrons take time to replace their protégé. That is why the opposition had to search for the new ways of releasing the country "from the hateful dictator", as they keep shouting from the housetops.

However, the opposition has not got any definite program except holding further staged actions.

Those actions are not enough to gain the maximum support from the people. "As a rule, when people jointly resist the authorities, - Andrey Epiphantsev underlines, - they want a new course, new methods of its implementation, new faces and new ideas. But now everything they are offered is an old course, old ideas, old faces and utterly obscure methods of achieving the goals. It is impossible to gather the maximum number of people using methods LIKE THIS".

Under such circumstances, it would be possible to win solely in the context of hatred towards the current president; however, in this case Mikhail Nikolaevitch would have to commit such a number of mistakes and allow such a shocking use of force that even his bodyguards would be incapable of saving him from the people's wrath. Neither the American president, nor NATO, nor European Union which are still worshipped by the opposition will not be able to save him then. However, Saakashvili has not yet committed any such mistakes.


Igor Umantsev

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