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“Away with the president” peacefully20.03.2010 | 00:34
The Georgian opposition seems to live according to a cyclic people's calendar. In spring, the calendar orders to demand early resignation of the country's government and the new presidential and parliamentarian elections. The government provides enough reasons for that. Imedi's scandalous broadcast about Russia's attack against Georgia became the last straw in this season. Several parties that have consolidated around Zurab Nogaideli into National Council speak for the peaceful change of the government.
The spring 2009 agenda has become relevant again. Last year, on April 9, the opposition started a campaign on Mikhail Saakashvili's peaceful removal from his post. They demanded the resignation of the president and the setting of the new early presidential and parliamentary elections. The attempt turned out to be a failure because the parties did not back up their policy of denial with any alternative proposals concerning the country's further development.
The failure split the opposition into several parts. Some parties agreed to take part in the local elections in May, while others, for example, Nino Burjanadze with her Movement for Fair Georgia and the Laborite party are boycotting the authorities' concession and are again going to make protests on April 9 as it was the previous year.
Neither is there any solidarity among those who are going to come to the elections. Some of the parties including Alliance for Georgia, the "three-headed dragon", refused to unite and hold the primaries together with Zurab Nogaideli's Movement for Fair Georgia, so long as they are not satisfied with his pro-Russian orientation. To spite these parties, others have also recently consolidated into National Council. The reason for that was Imedi's notorious broadcast.
For the first time, an alliance with such a name appeared on 7 November 2007 after the break-up of the demonstration, comprising 11 parties then.
The renewed Council includes only six parties: Nogaideli's Movement for Fair Georgia, Zviad Dzidziguri's Conservative Party, Koba Davitashvili's People's Party, Mamulishvili ("Patriot") veterans' coalition led by Gia Berdzenadze, Party of the Future and the Christian Georgia. Other parties have also been invited but they have not yet given any answer.
According to Nogaideli, the thought leader of National Council, his purpose is to resist the "government's criminal policy using the efforts of the consolidated oppositional front". According to him, Saakashvili's "anti-national" policy is "a threat to the Georgian nationalism".
Not so long ago, Nogaideli announced that the "peaceful way of changing the power" is the only possible way and called upon the country to hold early presidential and parliamentary elections. "The process should be consistent and peaceful. That is the basic point", - the former minister underlined.
However, it is more important to answer another question: how can one make the president resign "peacefully", which is the necessary condition of the reelection? The oppositionists failed to realize this idea last year. As experience showed, Saakashvili is holding tight by his seat despite his numerous mistakes.
GeorgiaTimes asked Petre Mamradze, one of the party activists (see photo), to explain the way Movement for Fair Georgia is going to achieve its purpose.
- We are not the party that resorts to such demonstrative actions as meetings or traffic blocking. We are going to take part in the local elections. Seeing that the mad actions taken by the current authorities are causing much harm to our country, we are going to enhance the change of the government using the methods permitted by the law. Our aim is the transition to the parliamentary republic and we will gradually prepare the public opinion for that step.
- So, you are going to demand early presidential elections after the local ones hoping that your candidates win them?
- We, the six parties participating in the primaries, have not yet selected a single candidate for the elections of Mayor of Tbilisi. However, we have already nominated our people in the regions and we believe that most of the people who have to feed their families will vote for us because they stand for the settlement of relations with Russia. We are going to act with enthusiasm and make appearances on TV. We have still got small TV companies that let us on air.
- You mean that the issue of the early presidential elections is a far prospect and is possible in a year or two?
- Considering the character of the ruling regime I would withhold from any forecasts. Our president tends to take unpredictable steps, such as March 13, when the Imedi broadcast was aired. We know that we should be ready for everything.
- Some of the parties, for instance, Temur Shashiashvili's The White suggest announcing impeachment of the president. What is your opinion of this idea?
- Me personally, I have put my signature under the demand of an impeachment last year. However, that is up to the parliament to decide, and the parliamentary majority is supporting the president.