There will be more opposition rallies in spring
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, February 2
The opposition plans a new wave of street rallies from spring, said the opposition parties who will contest the Tbilisi Mayoral primary at the Hotel Best on February 1 while presenting the Plan for Georgia’s Victory. The meeting was attended by the Conservative Party, People’s Party, Movement for Fair Georgia, Christian Georgia, the Mamulishvili Movement of ex-servicemen and the Party of the Future. The statement has already met different responses from other opposition groups.
The leaders of the Conservative Party, People's Party and Movement for Fair Georgia presented the plan, an 'election code' for the primary, which states that the opposition will organise protests with purely preventive goals. "These rallies will seek to prevent the Government from forging the elections,” Zviad Dzidziguri of the Conservative Party announced. The plan states that the only way for Georgia to win and survive is to change the present Government, which can be achieved only by fighting for it. "We appeal to all for whom this country is precious to stand together and start the third and final wave of rallies," the plan says.
Koba Davitashvili, the leader of the People’s Party, stated that “The opposition should stand together to win this battle against the Government. As for NATO, I am ready to refuse to join it if Russia will start negotiations with Georgia and the breakaway regions are reintegrated with Georgia.” The Party of the Future's Zaza Tabagari said that "We will take part in the opposition primary, this is the only reason I attended this meeting. However, as for joining the street rallies, the party has not made decision on this.”
Some other Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary opposition parties have declared that the Plan for Georgia's Victory serves anti-Georgian interests. "Destabilisation and street rallies are in the interest of Russia. Those parties prefer the Russian option, and that is why we will not have a common candidate for Tbilisi Mayor with them,” Levan Vephkhvadze, from the Christian Democrats, has stated. MP Jondi Baghaturia said that "There are people in this country, who are ready to betray their homeland. No one should be an agent of America or Russia, each person in Georgia should be the agent of his own country.”
National Democrat Bachuki Kardava also connected the parties organising the primary with Russia. "When Zurab Noghaideli and street rallies are mentioned, I always connect such things with Russia,” Kardava suggested. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on February 1 that Russia never bargains with principles. "Those interested in having relations with Russia voice no pre-condition and just emphasise the need to conduct normal dialogue with Russia. We did not cut ties with Georgia. We do not bargain with principles. We recognised Abkhazia and South Ossetia because there was no other way to protect these people from destruction,” Lavrov announced.
Pikria Chikhradze from the Alliance for Georgia said that the Alliance will not take part in preplanned actions. "Holding street rallies is not in our interests, and our efforts will be dedicated to the elections, not rallies. Elections are the only right way to achieve political change,” Chikhradze suggested.
It was announced that the primary will now be held on April 18 rather than 28 March. The first street rally will be on April 9, the second after the primary and another Independence Day, May 26. These rallies will be attempts to deter the Government from daring to falsify the Tbilisi Mayoral elections planned for May 30.