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Alasania invites Saakashvili to a duel

04.07.2011  |  12:14

Alasania invites Saakashvili to a duel. 19104.jpegIrakli Alasania, an experienced Georgian diplomat, now leader of opposition party Free Democrats enters into an explicit struggle against Saakashvili's regime. He has already promised to launch a large-scale civil movement for free elections. Now Alasania is gathering the "magnificent seven" expected to embrace six parties that had talks on the electoral environment with the authorities and the society of Georgia - the seventh element. GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed probable competition between the oppositionist and


Saakashvili with Valery Homyakov, a well-known Russian politologist.

"Our task is to turn the "eight" into the "magnificent seven" with the seventh element - people of Georgia - leading the way, - Irakli Alasania stated. - This is the partnership we mean forming For Free Elections movement. Besides, the former UN envoy severely criticizes New Rights and Christian Democrats that have withdrawn from the group of eight accepting the terms of the authorities. "Our two former friends decided to join Calvera's gang, but truth will win in this story", - Alasania emphasized.

These words of usually reserved Irakli made him one of the main newsmakers in Georgia this week. Before that he told that the West presses for Saakashvili's resignation. "US politicians state that Saakashvili must hold fair elections and step down" - Moscow News quotes. - This position is particularly evident after the events in August 2008 when the world saw Mikheil Saakashvili's real self".

In his interview the oppositionist openly says that the current government of Georgia has no resources to restore trust in Abkhazia and Ossetia. And that the policies pursued by the current regime only push the population of both republics away. According to him, antagonism with Russia simultaneously keeps Georgia away from integrating into European structures. "Europe, Germany in particular, has a very serious potential to facilitate restoration of political relations between Russia and Georgia considering ancient traditions of relationships between Berlin, Moscow and Tbilisi", - Alasania remarked. - This triangle between Russia, Germany and Georgia can work efficiently in the post-Saakashvili period".

Words of the leader of Free Democrats sound reasonable. Yet, the question is why Alasania takes the floor now. It is not impossible that he is making preparations for the election campaign: the presidential election is near at hand, in 2013. Yet, knowing "amenability" of local opposition, this question should be tackled well in advance. It is not incidental that Irakli calls to continue the struggle for fair election and consequent change of power: "Together we will transform this struggle into a large-scale civil movement for free elections".

It is uncertain that Alasania supported by a bunch of his colleagues will become a rival to Mikheil Saakashvili. On one hand, Saakashvili's policies and his total Russophobia are not approved by the citizens of the country. Mass protest rallies in May just prove that. On the other hand, the population does not trust the opposition for its inability to get united in the struggle against the current regime. GeorgiaTimes correspondent got in touch with Valery Homyakov, director general of the National Strategy Council asking him to assess Irakli Alasania's chances to run for presidency.

According to the politologist, Alasania is likely to become Mikheil Saakashvili's rival. "He is less known than Nino Burdzhanadze - outside Georgia at least. It will take a lot of effort to bring his reputation to a certain level", - Homyakov thinks. - Nevertheless, Alasania has chances to win free elections. Certainly, he must come up with a serious program for that. And the main thing, I guess, is that Alasania should present this slogan "To return Georgian sovereignty to Georgia without the United States of America". This would be an important part of his election campaign. Since it's the main "achievement" of the existing regime. Basically, Saakashvili surrendered his state to the USA".

Additionally, our interlocutor remarks: it is very important for the opposition to decide on one candidate at the time of preparation for presidential elections. "I imagine how difficult it is - Georgian opposition is very diverse, - the expert says. - Still, this attempt will influence the variegated composition of political forces now existing in the republic. It would be more correct for the opposition to act consolidated. The world community and Russia would appreciate that".

Ruslan Chigoev

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