By Etuna Tsotniashvili
Wednesday, September 23
The Alliance for Georgia stated yesterday that it will take part in the local government elections planned for May 30, 2010 and present candidates for Tbilisi Mayor and the Leader of Tbilisi City Council.
At a briefing yesterday leader of the Alliance Irakli Alasania, Georgia’s former UN envoy, stated that it was joining the ‘battle’ to become an alternative to the Government and would propose its vision for crisis reduction to the public soon. He also introduced to the media and public two new members of his party, Our Georgia-Free Democrats, and thus the Alliance - former Public Defender Sozar Subari, whose term expired on 16 September, and member of the so-called radical opposition Koka Guntsadze.
Alasania confirmed that he would personally take part in the upcoming Tbilisi Mayoral elections and Subari would be the Alliance’s candidate for Leader of Tbilisi City Council. Alasania characterised Subari as “a man of principle, a fighter for justice, who has huge authority as one of the key human rights activists in Georgia.” “Sozar Subari is a fair person and was always a hope for the victims of the existing unjust Government,” Alasania said, adding that the joint ticket of the two men will provide an alternative to the Government and the people will feel they are participating in events, leading party and people to together build a fair and democratic state.
Subari stated that his decision had been prompted by the fact that his views and those of the Alliance on making radical democratic changes coincide. Alasania added that consultations about expanding the membership of the Alliance further will proceed, and its doors are open for all political forces.
Alasania also expressed hope that the opposition would soon fix its position concerning today's decisions by the Alliance. “We, our team, promise that we will achieve the holding of fair elections at all levels – first local elections, then Parliamentary and Presidential elections proceeding from this,” Subari stated. “We will ensure that the authorities of this country are changed peacefully, we will also ensure that the course of the country’s development is changed,” he added.
The other parties which make up the Alliance for Georgia, the New Rights and Republicans, also attended the briefing. Republican Levan Berdzenishvili stated that he would welcome the opposition presenting different candidates in elections because a united candidate is not beneficial at any election. Berdzensihvili cited the Presidential election of 2008, in which the united opposition presented Levan Gachechiladze as its joint candidate but did not achieve success.
The other opposition parties have not nominated candidates for the local elections, and it is not even clear if they will participate in those elections or not. Some opposition leaders think that now Irakli Alasania has announced his candidature other opposition leaders should support him and not present rival candidates. “I think that those opposition forces who had planned to take part in the elections should not oppose Alasania. Alasania should become the joint opposition candidate,” Guguli Maghradze, leader of Women’s Party for Justice and Equality, said. Conservative Leader Kakha Kukava thinks that only with a joint candidate can success be achieved at the elections, however the Conservatives have not yet decided whether to participate in them.
Political analyst Gia Khukhashvili has said that Alasania-Subari could be a ‘successful ticket’ in Georgian politics as both of them are very interesting individuals and they somehow complement each other. “If they don’t make any serious mistakes I can congratulate them both now on victory in the forthcoming elections. Their partnership is very serious and undoubtedly very well organised, and this brings success in elections,” the analyst told The Messenger.
“The Government has little support in Tbilisi and even by using administrative resources it would be very hard for it to win here. I would suggest to the rest of the opposition leaders that they support it and not present other candidates, as I do not think any of them could present a stronger ticket,” Khukhashvili said.