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Compiled by Salome Modebadze
Monday, April 27
What kind of message did Gia Tortladze receive from the radical opposition?

Last week Gia Tortladze, the leader of the Georgian Democratic Party, prepared a speech for international organizations and friendly countries’ Governments, Sakartvelos Respublika informs. The text, signed by 24 organizations including several Georgian diaspora organisations, can be found at the office of the International Democratic Centre.

At a briefing on April 25 Tortladze disseminated the document, which concerns Russia’s actions on Georgia’s occupied territories: “Expressing our extreme worry at the wide deployment of Russian military forces on the occupied Georgian territories we ask you to become actively involved in this issue and use all your political influence to prevent any widespread aggression from the Russian Federation,” Tortladze noted.

Tortladze noted in surprise that none of the political parties behind the present protest rallies had signed the document. Jondi Baghaturia the leader of Georgian Troupe, hadn’t signed either. “They seem to be indifferent about making Russia leave Georgian territory,” Tortladze said, adding that he had even received a message from one of the opposition members saying, “We won’t sign until Saakashvili’s resignation,” which he found quite strange.

Tortladze explained that this document didn’t concern any internal processes as it was about Georgia’s external enemies. “No one at the moment knows exactly what is going, but Russia must be preparing some kind of provocation. Russian ships are in Georgian waters, landing detachments have been sent, even Russian was correspondents are here - this can’t just be neglected.

“The opposition leaders standing in protest are approaching this issue too lightly, although they say they refrain from radical action due to the danger of aggression from Russia. Yet this document is supported by the Christian Democrats, National Democrats, People’s Front, Religious Research Centre and various civil associations,” Tortladze added.

Asked what he thinks about the political situation in the country, the leader of the Democratic Party answered that his attitude was clear and that he wouldn’t join a protest meeting at which Russian aggression isn’t even mentioned. He also said that some of the organizers of the rally had openly stated that they think Georgia doesn’t need NATO and that they can accept the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, something very strange and inadmissible for him.

Only complete blockades are illegal, says Vakhtang Khmaladze

Akhali Taoba writes that Vakhtang Khmaladze, a political analyst and member of the Republican Party, has stated: “if opposition blocks access to any building they will be breaking the law and the members of opposition know that. But I have not heard that they have decided to entirely prevent access to any building yet.

“The blockade of a road would be illegal if it were done in an ad hoc fashion, for example if you and I and several other people gathered and blocked the street, or went to a particular building, stood in the entrance and would not let anyone go in or out this would be illegal. But a well-organized rally never breaks any laws as the Mayor’s Office is told it is taking place and all the places, routes, dates etc. on which it will be held are announced beforehand and agreed. So we should discuss picketing and blocking as different issues,” Khmaladze explained.

“I would also state that there is no such concept as picketing in Georgian legislation. ‘To picket’ means to stand in front of a particular building or enterprise, and this term is used in various countries. Our legislation mentions only blockading. Any kind of blockade which interferes with a building’s proper function is forbidden, but if the same building has several entrances and only some of them are blocked nothing prevents this building from functioning,” he added.