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Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Thursday, October 15
Salome Zourabichvili: I agree with all ways of fighting

In an interview with Rezonansi leader of The Way of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili has stated that she will both join Nino Burjanadze in her street protests and support Irakli Alasania in the forthcoming Tbilisi Mayoral Elections.

“There is one way the whole opposition will fight. The Government should be changed by means of elections. The whole opposition have the same idea. I do not think anyone wants to remove the Government in any other way,” Zourabichvili states. “I shall not compromise on this for anybody. I said from the very beginning that we should fight elections and all the parties agreed. However elections, street demonstrations and court actions are all acceptable to me. We saw in April that we should not concentrate on one way only. The opposition should use all available resources to attack the Government.

“Some people should fight through the election commission, some in the constitutional court and some through international organisations. We have to fight in Tbilisi, in the streets, in the regions and in the media too and we must make up for the lost media opportunities. My belief is that we have to fight in all possible ways to gain a result and must not exclude any of them. I do not say that we all must sign the same manifesto. Everyone must bring their own manifesto and state their own view of why this regime should be removed. Then we have to make all these views public. We should take the political steps the Georgian political elite have not taken but the international community has in the Tagliavini Report. We should show the Government that the opposition have different views in certain areas but a common opinion about the need to remove the current Government,” she says.

“I have suggested that on November 7 [the anniversary of the police crackdown on demonstrators in 2007] there will be no protest actions held. The political forces will simply assemble and make speeches about the current regime. Society will then draw its own conclusions about those who do not wish to come to this event. This is my offer and it must be taken as a basis to begin talks. I am holding consultations about this. This is not only my initiative. I did not ask for anyone to agree with me and give the same answer today. Let’s see what the result is and how many people support this idea,” Zourabichvili states.

Asked what she though about Nino Burjanadze preferring to hold protest actions rather than concentrate on fighting elections, Zourabichvili says, “I will join with Nino Burjanadze and also support Irakli Alasania at the Mayoral elections. I will be with everyone wherever they fight. I consider no method should be excluded.”

Mamuka Giorgadze: There is no real opposition in Georgia

”I can say that the Government does not have any real opposition today. The opposition should oppose ideologically, politically and institutionally. But today there is no such opposition in the country and therefore no real fight against the authorities. There is only a collection of political groups fighting against Saakashvili’s regime to obtain power, influence and well-being for themselves,” leader of the Popular Party Mamuka Giorgadze has stated in an interview with Akhali Taoba.

“Burjanadze did not realise one thing when she proposed a democratic front: political combat is impossible without values and principles. The slogan ‘Go!’ was pointless from the very beginning. If there is no serious idea around which the opposition will unite nothing will be achieved. Unfortunately, they either do not talk about this idea or do not have it to begin with. Perhaps they are not being permitted to talk about it by their patrons.

“Just saying ‘go!’ is an idea with nothing to follow. The opposition might succeed only if an action is planned throughout Georgia as in 2003. Unfortunately, the only interest of these political groups is to play a role in a performance. If the opposition wish to fight for Georgia there should be a common idea of what to fight for – hatred for Saakashvili will not unite us,” Giorgadze said.

“The opposition will take part in the local elections because they have the same patron. They intend to gain certain parts in the play. They will not be able to take Tbilisi from Saakashvili. Can they give an example of when a dictator was overthrown by elections? Why would they remove Saakashvili?! This is a reckless attempt by the opposition to justify themselves.

“Because money had been set aside for this contest the opposition thought that 2003 would repeat itself. But the circumstances were different, not everything was in place. Therefore, the opposition members want to take certain strategic positions for the next show,” Giorgadze stated.