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Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Friday, October 23
Majority of opposition leaders agree with holding primaries

Rezonansi reports that the opposition is again considering holding primary elections to identify a common opposition leader and next week will give a list of the parties which want to take part in primary elections. Although various parties will have different conditions for taking part in the primaries Conservative Kakha Kukava says that most parties are agreed on the need to hold primaries and they will be contested.

Analysts state that Irakli Alasania, Gubaz Sanikidze, Shalva Natelashvili, Giorgi Targamadze and Levan Gachechiladze and their parties have the highest ratings among the public, and the opposition has a chance of taking control of the city council, but it is very unlikely that the opposition will eventually accept a single leader. They also say that it is possible that the Government will propose a serious opponent to the opposition candidates.

The Democratic Movement – United Georgia of Nino Burjanadze will take part in the primaries only if parties which hold dialogue with the Government are excluded from them. Party member Roman Kusiani states that there are many different views about how the primaries should be conducted. Member of the Alliance for Georgia Mamuka Katsitadze says that idea of holding primaries is very good, but their condition for joining in is that all the main opposition forces must take part.

Moscow will have to pay 30 billion to bribe Latin Americans

Several Central and South American states might join the list of states which recognise the ‘independence’ of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and according to the Russian Kommersant newspaper one of the main goals of Russian Security Secretary Nikolai Patrushev’s recent visit to the region was to persuade states to do this, Rezonansi reports quoting Russia’s Kommersant newspaper.

“Patrushev has returned from Bolivia, where he was representing Russia at Bolivia’s alternative confederation of Latin American states, the so called ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas) group. In fact Bolivia is against the recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia but like Venezuela it is prepared to grant recognition in exchange for solid Russian benefits. President of Ecuador Rafael Correa is due to visit Russia next week, and the Kremlin might propose a military cooperation contract for Ecuador in exchange for recognition. Bolivia is next on the list. Recently Russia has been very active in ALBA but the war against Georgia has changed everything and Moscow now seeks greater cooperation with the USA,” the newspaper says.

“Georgian experts and politicians also do not exclude that ALBA countries will recognise Abkhazia and South Ossetia, although the Georgian Foreign Ministry does not believe recognition will spread any further and will no longer comment on it. But to get its way Moscow will have to pay 30 billion USD to bribe the Latin Americans and 1 billion is already paid,” the author of the article states.