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Ex-PM Noghaideli outlines his plans

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, February 11
Former Prime Minister of Georgia and current leader of the opposition Movement for Fair Georgia Zurab Noghaideli answered questions from Russian and Georgian journalists at a video conference held at the RIA Novosti Tbilisi office on Tuesday.

During the one hour conference Noghaideli outlined his plans for future political activity and his view of the economic and political development of Georgia. The former PM also touched upon the issue of further relations with Russia and the investigation of the death of the late Georgian Prime Minister Zurab Zhvania, with whom Noghaideli had close connections.

Noghaideli said he is “not feeling comfortable” in the opposition, adding “we will be in Government soon.” However, Noghaideli said he does not see a “public request” for snap Parliamentary and Presidential elections yet. “We might have a public demand for snap elections in weeks, or months, and then Saakashvili and his Government will have to go, and only then will we have Parliamentary and Presidential elections,” Noghaideli noted.

The former Prime Minister said he is for establishing a Parliamentary Republic in Georgia, saying that the time of only one leader making decisions has gone. “With the end of Saakashvili’s rule, a new leader should appear, who will make decisions collectively, not unilaterally,” Noghaideli said. He said it is yet to be decided if he will be nominated as a Presidential candidate if snap Presidential elections are appointed.

Noghaideli told journalists that negotiations should resume between Russia and Georgia to regulate the problems between the two countries, however, he said these should be between the legitimate Governments of the two countries. When asked if Georgia will be able to overcome the world economic crisis without the help of Russia, Noghaideli said that the Georgian economy has survived the Russian embargo imposed on Georgian products in 2006. “Directly after the embargo our trade was almost zero, however we have seen that the Georgian economy coped with this and over the next two years we observed economic growth in the country. Georgia can survive without Russia’s help, because its economy is very much integrated into the world economy, it is not isolated,” Noghaideli noted.

Previously a Finance Minister, Noghaideli outlined the reasons for the economic crisis that Georgia is facing. He said there are three main ones: the world economic crisis that has affected almost every country, the economic decisions made after November 7, 2007, and the most important reason, in his opinion, the “lost war” with Russia last August. Noghaideli added that an investigation should be started into the death of Zurab Zhvania, the late Prime Minister, and that the members of his family, as well as society as a whole, should receive answers to their questions concerning this case.