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Are the early elections coming?03.06.2010 | 00:05
The Georgian opposition is not going to put up with the results of the local elections. Leader of the Democratic Party - United Georgia Nino Burdzhanadze has stated that on May 30, the Georgian government has officially announced the projected outcome of the elections, so long as the electoral process turned out to be something of a farce rather than a problem solving tool. Burdzhanadze called upon the Georgian oppositional front to continue the struggle, which victory would mean early presidential and parliamentary elections. Will her initiative be supported by the country's opposition?
According to Burjanadze, the local elections held in Georgian on May 30 are another step towards the virtual democracy, while the only way out of the current situation is the early presidential and parliamentary elections in Georgia.
The former Speaker's position is shared by the oppositional National Forum. Leader of movement Kakhabera Shartava believes that the government, which is the author of the whole performance, managed to involve the entire opposition into the play due to the lack of unity among the oppositionists. As to the opposition, it has never fought for the change of power in the country, which fact was confirmed by the elections results.
National Forum suggested that all the oppositional forces should hold consultations on the issue of changing the electoral legislation so that the opposition could demand and attain the early presidential and parliamentary elections within the altered electoral environment.
Shartava also expressed his assuredness that holding early elections in the current electoral environment will again produce the same result and they will end up in the victory of the government which has got the necessary "leverage to intimidate the electors".
GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed the prospects of Burdzhanadze's initiative with other representatives of the Georgian opposition.
Are Burdzhanadze's demands well-grounded?
Petre Mamradze, one of the leaders of Movement for Fair Georgia
The fact that the elections represent a farce to a significant extent is true. However, the point is not the way the elections were held, although the international observers underlined significant violations there, including the absence of differences between the executive power and the ruling National Movement party. The main point is that the atmosphere in the country and the way the people have been brainwashed in the last months. One half of the citizens did not show up at the elections, which is, naturally, a very low turnout level for Georgia. The rest were brought by force. I mean there were supervisors appointed by the ruling party who checked the voting turnout.
As to the early elections, the people have got no trust in the oppositional parties and no belief that the opposition will do something for the benefit of the country as soon as it comes to power. That is attributed to the fact that a significant part of the Georgian society has been frustrated after the permanent and, to my mind, irrelevant meetings that were held night and day when the avenues were blocked and the people were sitting in the so-called cages. We said then that it would only do harm and strengthen Saakashvili's power both inside the country and on the international level.
One can say that the country needs elections but no one is going to arrange them; neither has the opposition presently got any power to force the authorities into doing that. To my mind, this plan is far from reality. Yes, one has to get united, sink one's personal ambitions and defend the interests of the people at all the fronts every single day, so long as the human rights are gravely violated in Georgia. We have long since been put on the list of the failed countries because of the corruption and absence of the independent courts; out of all the former USSR countries, only Uzbekistan is on the same list. One has to fight, and the struggle will show. The most fearful thing is the economic collapse that may really cause social disturbances in the country, so it won't be a picnic to everyone. Anything might happen should mass destabilization start on these grounds.
Manana Nachkebia, executive secretary of The New Rights party, which is part of Alliance for Georgia.
I believe that the elections are the most proper way to change the power in Georgia. It will be very good if we attain early elections. We should fight for that, we should do everything we can to convince the people of Georgia of the harmfulness of the current government's policy. Another point is whether we will succeed. Anyway, once should deal with the public and foreign organizations. This is a legitimate demand; still, at the same time, I do not support Burdzhanadze's refusal to take part in the local elections.
What changes will the early elections bring?