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So what does Point 5 actually say?

Thursday, October 9
Point 5 of Resolution number 1633, adopted by the Council of Europe on October 2, is causing political confrontation in Georgia. The administration is declaring that the resolution is a Georgian victory. The non-Parliament opposition however, is saying that in reality point 5 of the document states that Georgia started the war by attacking Tskhinvali.

The Republicans and New Rights held a press conference on October 6 where they severely criticized the majority party. The two opposition parties claimed that as the Georgian delegation supported the document in Strasbourg they thereby admitted that Georgia started the war. The opposition is accusing the authorities of hiding the full implication of the resolution from the public and presenting only the positive aspect of it. The country’s leadership however considers this criticism unfair, as the text should be read and understood as a whole and not in small portions. Chairman of Parliament David Bakradze believes that the document is a serious weapon in Georgia’s hands.

Some MPs indirectly admit the presence of this unpleasant and controversial paragraph.

Leader of the Parliamentary minority Giorgi Targamadze, from the Christian Democrats, has confirmed that he thinks that certain members of the Council of Europe are unjustly a priori on the Russian side. Mikheil Machavariani, Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament, has stated that the wording of Point 5 was drafted by “Russian bought members.” But this way or that, the document is now here. The Council of Europe and OSCE have decided to investigate the circumstances which led to the war, and the conclusions they draw may render Point 5 invalid. . Georgia has to do its utmost to prove to the international community that the Russians started the war long before the August events took place, and Georgia is the innocent and aggrieved party.

Opposition representative Levan Berdzenishvili has highlighted some statistics from the Council of Europe session, which generally 350 people were entitled to attend. The Georgian–Russian issue hearing was attended by 120 members. Resolution 1633 was adopted by 93 votes to 25, with 2 abstaining. Of the delegations from our neighbouring countries only the Turks voted unanimously pro-Georgia. Azeri members did not attend at all and of the two Armenians one voted in Russia’s favour and the other abstained. This is information worth considering, is it not? Maybe the support for Georgia and its position in this conflict, which we once thought near –universal, is more qualified than we suppose.

The point the opposition is making is simple. It does not want the population to be misled. It wants the truth told, however hard it is to hear. If Point 5 bears any hidden dangers for Georgia, it is the duty of Government as well as opposition to present those to the people, so we can all contribute to addressing these before it is too late.

Once again: the patient is in a critical condition. If we want him to recover, a true picture of his illness must be given before we can apply effective treatment.