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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Friday, January 22
David Gamkrelidze – ‘If Ugulava becomes Tbilisi Mayor again, we will see Saakashvili in opposition’

"Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava has said in an interview with ‘News Week’ that Georgia might reject NATO membership for the sake of restoring territorial integrity. The Press Service of City Hall says that Ugulava has never said anything of the kind. But it is not up to Gigi Ugulava to decide whether we should join NATO or not, it is up to the Georgian people," one of the leaders of the Alliance for Georgia, David Gamkrelidze, has stated in an interview with Kvela Siakhle.

"On the one hand Ugulava is trying to prove that he has no ties with politics by busying himself with municipality questions, but on the other hand he makes loud political statements in the international arena. He is sending a message to Putin that he is the leader of this country and Russia should talk to him, not Noghaideli. He is demonstrating that he does not intend to be just Mayor of Tbilisi but targets becoming President.

"I am sure that if Ugulava becomes Tbilisi Mayor again due to the nihilism and passivity of the people we will see Saakashvili in opposition. He will try to take Saakashvili’s office but it will be a mechanical transition. People should not be deceived that they can replace Saakashvili with Ugulava. We should do our best to remove this whole Government, including Saakashvili, Merabishvili, Adeishvili and Ugulava,” Gamkrelidze said.

"I do not deny that the mistakes made by the opposition may be the reason for the public's nihilism, but the Alliance parties understand everything. We need to make reforms and participate in the elections. We have nominated the Alasania-Subari tandem for the posts of Tbilisi Mayor and City Council Chair as they enjoy high public confidence.

"We regard the primaries as dangerous in the current situation because the weakest candidate might win them. We appeal to our opposition colleagues to unite around the single candidate," Gamkrelidze said.

"No one can assure me that I would receive fewer votes than Dzidziguri or Davitashvili in an election but our common victory is more important for me than personal interest. No one can blame us for the opposition failing to unite. We have already united. We may have different opinions on certain issues but we have managed to find a consensus. We are ready to cooperate with the other parties as well. The essential thing is to mobilise society for participation in the elections. Those opposition forces who are urging people to boycott the elections are making the biggest mistake,” Gamkrelidze concluded.

Authorities start choosing candidates for Tbilisi City Council elections

Rezonansi writes that in parallel with Gigi Ugulava’s election campaign the authorities are choosing candidates for Tbilisi City Council seats. According to unofficial information they will present 25 majoritarian candidates, possibly including Zaza Sinauridze, a famous doctor, and head of the Saburtalo district Dato Gelashvili.

Gynaecologist Sisauridze runs the Ghudushauri clinic and as it is said he has quite a good relationship with the President’s family and is being suggested as one of the candidates in the Vake district. Gelashvili will be named Saburtalo district candidate, reports suggest. However the National Movement has not confirmed either candidacy officially and says work is continuing in this regard.