Opposition at a deadlock17.12.2009 | 15:12
There seems to be a political lull in Georgia on the New Year eve. The opposition that cannot put up with its own disability and the authorities' victory in this round of confrontation promises to make a statement in the coming 2010. Municipal elections are just round the corner, which means more political activity. GeorgiaTimes correspondent tried to find out what the opposition should expect from the coming year.
After the spring protest actions that never brought any expected result the government agreed neither to early parliamentary elections, nor to the presidential ones, and the opposition never gathered pace. The promised autumn wave of the protest actions never came either.
The Georgian experts share an opinion that the society is lacking protest zeal; many people feel disappointed with the opposition despite the fact that they have not got much liking for the current government. Oppositional activists often fight each other. Leaders of numerous oppositional parties never managed to unite and present a single fighting strategy.
However, the oppositionists do not give up. Practically each of them is promising Mikhail Saakashvili a "happy" new year. For instance, leader of public movement Defend Georgia and one of the spring protest actions activists Levan Gachechiladze who ran for presidency in 2008 stated that at the end of winter or the beginning of spring 2010 the Georgian opposition "will start the third wave of peaceful protest actions against the authorities' policy".
He says that "the opposition is going to use all possible peaceful methods and actions, demanding protection of human rights, welfare and employment" to create a healthy electoral environment for the new elections.
Before that, leader of the National Forum party Gubaz Sanikidze stated that "the third round of fight for Saakashvili's resignation will make him set early elections". "Saakashvili has come to power having significant support in the country and abroad but he lost the people's trust due to his policy", - Sanikidze said.
Mikhail Nikolaevitch himself says that "he is supported by most people and is not going to resign until his powers expire in 2013". He believes that "there is no crisis in Georgia and that the crisis is imagined by certain politicians". He remains blind and deaf to the opponents' statements about the persecution of nonconformists. Practically all the oppositional leaders were accused of being connected with the Kremlin.
Still, Saakashvili's opponents answer back, returning like for like. One of these days, leader of The New Rights oppositional party (this party belongs to the Alliance for Georgia - I.P.), one of the candidates for presidency in 2008 David Gamkrelidze stated that "the opposition did not receive any funds from Russia".
In his interview to Tbilisian newspaper Kviris Palitra he said: "I may state with full responsibility that neither the forces being part of Alliance for Georgia, nor any of the oppositional parties has received any funds from Russia recently. No one is going to sell himself for the money granted by another country's special services and come to power via sold policy. When we came to know that the Kremlin has strictly warned the Georgian manufacturers acting in Russia against approaching the Georgian opposition our suspicion that Saakashvili's government is most desirable for the Kremlin has grown.
Gamkrelidze asked himself: "Why would Medvedev's administration stand up for Saakashvili so openly? It confirms the fact that Russia wants the opposition to create no problems for the current Georgian authorities".
The Georgian authorities and the opposition keep blaming each other for being "connected with the Kremlin" just like they did before. The only new trend in political life of the country is the information discrediting Georgia's former permanent representative to UN Irakliy Alasania who is heading Alliance for Georgia. Up to a certain time, he was practically the only politician whom the yellow press did not touch. There were no reports of political intrigues or "skeletons in the wardrobe", which are generally typical of anyone who decides to go into politics.
However, recently, Alliance for Georgia's press service disseminated a special statement in connection with the opened campaign, which is aimed at discrediting the alliance leader Irakliy Alasania. The point is that several days ago, a number of newspapers and TV channels simultaneously revealed information on some murder committed 15 years ago, in which Irakliy Alasania might have been involved. As the media stated meaningfully, he is supposed to known more about it than a common citizen.
The alliance press service says that the campaign was opened as soon as the polls conducted by Institute of Social Studies and Analysis (ISSA) confirmed that the absolute majority of the people of Tbilisi support Alasania's candidature at the coming mayoral elections and Sozar Subari's candidature as chairman of the Tbilisian sacrebulo (City Assembly).