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“Reorganized” opposition to reorganize “cells”

By Mzia Kupunia
Monday, June 1
While the “reorganization” of the non-Parliamentary opposition is going on they are also planning to also reorganize the “cells” on Rustaveli Avenue. The podium in front of the Parliament building has already been altered. Mamuka Katsitadze from the New Rights Party says that the reconstruction of the “cells” is also underway and chairs and tables will be placed outside the Parliament building in order to create “more comfort” for the demonstrators. “The new stage, the one which Utsnobi used during his concerts in the regions, is more comfortable and has a better lighting system,” Katsitadze said.

The “radical” part of the non-Parliamentary opposition have already drawn up their plans for the upcoming week. On Monday they are planning to picket the Tbilisi Mayor’s Office and on Tuesday they are going to picket the Parliament, where, they say, a plenary session is due to be held on June 2.

As this part of the opposition plans more rallies and picketing, Irakli Alasania, the leader of the Alliance for Georgia, who has announced that it will not participate in continual rallies, outlined his own action plan on Saturday. He said that as well as holding targeted protest rallies and intensively working with the international community, his political team was ready to be involved in the negotiations process. Alasania noted that holding early elections could be a way out of the crisis; however he stressed the importance of creating a proper election environment before holding any elections.

Unlike other, more “radical” opposition parties, which claim the negotiations can only be held on one issue – the resignation of President Saakashvili and holding early Presidential elections - Alasania does not rule out negotiating with the Government about early Parliamentary elections, instead of Presidential, saying that “it is a matter for discussion”. Alasania commented on some opposition forces’ criticism of his non-radical course of action, saying that both ways - protests and negotiations - “complement each other.”

The more “radical” opposition leaders say there is nothing “tragic” about Alasania’s decision. Manana Nachkebia from the New Rights Party, which is part of Alasania’s Alliance for Georgia but supports more “radical” forms of action, said some political forces have more capacity to work in the regions and some to hold negotiations. “Of course the country should retain the possibility of resolving the crisis through negotiations. I don’t see anything tragic in holding negotiations and rallies at the same time,” Nachkebia noted, adding that the political forces have agreed that each of them will individually make decisions about whether to participate in the rallies or not.

Political analysts in Georgia say that if the non-Parliamentary opposition forces work in coordination with each other, they might achieve some “positive” results by following different action plans. Political commentator Zurab Abashidze says that if there is no agreement between the opposition parties and no coordination between them following individual plans might not achieve the results the opposition wants. Abazidze told The Messenger that Parliamentary elections could be a way out of the crisis in the country. “It is obvious that our Parliament is not representative and effective. If the relevant background will be prepared, meaning changes in the election code and election commission, and if law enforcement agencies stop interfering in election processes, then holding Parliamentary elections might be a step forward,” Abashidze noted.