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Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Tuesday, April 14
Lasha Bakradze – “The majority of people don’t take part in these events and stay away”

Mteli Kvira has interviewed historian and a specialist of German philology Lasha Bakradze, who says: “I think the majority of people don’t take part in these sort of events [the demonstrations outside Parliament]. Although many people took to the streets, this is still only a small part of the population. All the parties in the present Parliament aren’t represented. We have created an illusion that parties really exist but they don’t represent anyone except their own members. There isn’t any party which represents even one social layer in Georgia.

“At least half of the country’s population isn’t involved in the present political processes at all. I’m one of the majority of the population and cannot see any point in taking part in these events. Political parties, within the Government and outside it, only represent those small groups which join them. If we want to build democracy, they should represent larger interests than they do now. The people are those who should build country,” Bakradze stated.

Bakradze also said: “Writers and public men have always been close to the Government. That’s why the people don’t trust such well known faces. Mostly they are former Soviet public men. Their children follow the same path their parents do. Their parents used to spend their holidays in Bichvinta and Likani and they are sure that they deserve the same. This part of the population is still close to the Government.”

Zurab Noghaideli won’t take part in the rally

Kviris Palitra reports that ex-PM Zurab Noghaideli held a protest meeting in Batumi on April 9. He was going to join the rally outside Parliament in Tbilisi on April 10, but it is said that some opposition representatives refused to cooperate with him and even gave an ultimatum that if Noghaideli joined in they would leave. Therefore Noghaideli wasn’t present outside Parliament, in Avlabari or at the headquarters of the Public Broadcaster.

“I’d like to underline that I’m satisfied with the April 9 demonstrations,” Noghaideli said. “The meetings held in Batumi as well as Tbilisi were very important. However I now state officially that after the evening of April 10 we won’t be taking part in rallies any more. We won’t get involved in blocking off the streets. “The fact that some opposition people are against us isn’t a surprise for me but no one could have prevented us from going to the protests if we had wanted to. The main reason we have made this decision now is that after April 10 we have seen that this method of protest is useless. I cannot talk about other details now,” Noghaideli said.

April 9: is this the end of street actions?

24 Saati comments that “April 9 is already part of history but the question is if it conveys anything of historical importance. Although the demonstrations go on, there have brought no definite political results as yet.

“We could say that April 9 was very disappointing. The country wasn’t dragged into civil chaos and the President didn’t resign on April 10. The only result the rally might have is that it could shatter the stereotypical view that holding protest meetings is the best way to change the Government. The April 9 rally showed us that the time of taking politics to the streets should be over.

“The November 2007 violence and April 2009 peace (as yet) have proved that demonstrations – an ugly form of democracy - aren’t politically right. Counting the number of people at a rally and its duration cannot substitute for the main form of politics - open and closed negotiations, meetings and talks. Politicians should know that political processes demand constant involvement and also negotiations. There can’t be complete winner or complete loser in this. Also, a quick result can’t be achieved without hard work.

“On the 20th anniversary of a major event in Georgian political history, a rational comprehension of politics has defeated an emotional one. Now everything is up to the political class; will it manage to understand that the times have changed or not?” says the newspaper.