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USA to check Saakashvili for honesty25.11.2011 | 12:24
For the first time in Georgia's contemporary history there appears a chance to hold fair elections. This hope was brought by US congressmen promising local opposition to keep a keen eye on the voting to the republic's parliament. Will it be possible to avoid cheating and falsification the opposition speaks about? GeorgiaTimes correspondent discussed that with Manana Nachkebia, a leader of the New Rights party.
Recent statements by Western politicians over Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili's duty to hold fair parliamentary election shows that patience of the global community is nearly exhausted. The Georgian leader was unambiguously signaled that in case of scheming he will completely lose his dream to become a NATO member.
US congress may give the right motivation to Mishiko. This week a group of congressmen came to Tbilisi to meet with the republic's opposition. As David Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights party stated after the talks, today the country's main challenges are pursuit of democratic reforms and establishment of democratic institutions. "All that is connected with the mono-party system of government in the country", - he remarked. - 2012 elections must ensure creation of a real multi-party system that will foster wider independence of justice, protection of human rights and freedom of business".
David Usupashvili, leader of the Republican Party, agrees with Gamkrelidze saying that the guests from overseas have reached consensus with Saakashvili's opponents. "Change of regime in the country in a democratic way is the main test Georgia must pass", - he is sure. - Besides, the US congressmen emphasized that the purpose of their visit to Tbilisi was to show support to all people of Georgia, not a single person". The congressmen promised to be particularly attentive to the country's democratic development, keep a keen eye on fair elections, observation of human rights and interfere if necessary.
Saakashvili does not want Americans to interfere in coming elections. Then he will definitely lose. The opposition emphasizes that the process of the country's integration into NATO can't last forever waiting for specific steps in the direction of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization already at the summit in Chicago in May. Saakashvili is full of expectations too. Yet, providing no guarantees to hold democratic elections, president of Georgia has nothing to expect. Will the eyes of an American hawk be a sufficient incentive for Mikheil Nikolayevich? Or will interests of the ruling elite be pushed through in all legal and illegal forms?
As Manana Nachkebia, a leader of the New Rights party said in an interview with GeorgiaTimes, the West has been demanding the Georgian authorities to ensure fair elections for several years already, yet these demands have been ignored up to now. "Presently the instruction is precise: unless elections are free, Mikheil Saakashvili and his government will have to leave", - Nachkebia believes. - The authorities will act with caution and won't risk outright scheming. Certainly, I'm not so naïve as to think that Saakashvili and his team will so easily give ground but at this stage I think the elections will be more fair and free than all previous elections".
According to our interlocutor, the interest displayed by Western countries including the USA and the Georgian opposition, provides hope for a better future. "Sure, we must push for it. We believe that due to such meetings like we had with US congressmen and representatives of the Europan Union we can influence positions of Saakashvlili and his team. Yet, a principled position of our political parties is important too. Only then will elections be fair. By the way, our representative Mamuka Katsitadze is elected chairman of the state commission tasked to check lists of voters. This is an extremely important component of free elections. I'm sure that the opposition must take charge of such issues. It is hard to have a result but I believe this target is achievable", - Nachkebia is sure.
Answering the question about prospects of Saakashvili-controlled National Movement as well as opposition forces in parliament, Manana Nachkebia says that the dominant party has support among population, but not as large-scale as polls show. "In most cases these sociological researches are made on order", - the opposition highlights. - As for other political forces, Bidzina Ivanishvili has good chances. The main thing is to prevent repetition of 2003 when one regime wholly supported by parliament replaced another regime. There must be something in the middle and mistakes of the past should be avoided. I think our party the New Rights and Christian Democrats will struggle for seats in parliament. So the elections will surely be interesting, and I hope that for the first time over 20 years of the country's independent history we will have a parliament representing key political forces of Georgia".