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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Monday, February 15
Local elections should be replaced by Presidential and Parliamentary ones: Kakha Shartava

Leader of the National Forum Kakha Shartava states in an interview with Akhali Taoba that holding tests of democracy under this Government makes no sense, and politicians should have the ability and wish to offer an alternative.

“We are working on this alternative. Revising voters list does not have any connection with the struggle to create a proper election environment. We should ask for the local elections to be replaced by Presidential and Parliamentary ones.

"What Saakashvili did in 2003 will not be repeated by the opposition, but if they are going to conduct a revolution they should prepare beforehand. I do not see any kind of preparation taking place. What Saakashvili did had been prepared for 7-8 years.

According to current polls the opposition has a very small chance of winning these elections,” Shartava stated.

Givi Targamadze and Erekle Kodua to be dismissed: Kukava.

Givi Targamadze and Erekle Kodua will soon leave their posts, says Conservative Kakha Kukava. Majority representatives are not commenting on this, but one anonymous National Movement MP has told Rezonansi that if ties between Targamadze and ‘legal thieves’ are proven, he will have to leave his post.

"Decisions will soon be made on both issues. I cannot specify the precise time. But I can tell you one thing, Targamadze and Kodua will be dismissed in the near future. There is open talk in the political circles of the West about the criminal ties of Georgian Government members, so this has already been decided. But we might see Targamadze given a significant military-patriotic mission. Saakashvili needs a scapegoat for the Ukrainian events and Targamadze and Kodua will be his scapegoats for the international community," Kakha Kukava told the publication.

Asked if the pair would be openly dismissed, Kukava said, "No, I don't think so. But the dismissal of Targamadze and Kodua is on the agenda. People who have ties with ‘legal thieves’ involved in the operations in Ukraine are regarded as international criminals by the international community. The West has already made statements on the matter. If these are not responded to by the Georgian authorities in time, strict statements will be made not by former but by present Congressmen," he added.

Sociologists comment on Tbilisi Mayor candidates

Rezonansi writes that sociologists are saying that the candidates for the local government elections in May are not very active. Present Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava perceptibly outruns his competitors at present. The opposition will have to offer something extraordinary to the public or they will lose the election.

According to the sociologist Iago Kachkachishvili no one is conducting an active campaign except Gigi Ugulava. "However, if they start conducting a campaign after announcing one, then I cannot comment on this. I do not think being backstage is profitable for anyone," Kachkachishvili says.

Head of the GORBI public opinion centre Merab Pachulia remarks that there is nothing new in terms of ratings at the present stage, but the candidates need to conduct active campaigns before the elections and this has not yet been observed. He remarked that despite the failure of the opposition to unite the primaries will be a successful project paving the way towards American values.

The Alliance for Georgia's Manana Nachkebia says that the major reason for Gigi Ugulava's rating is the PR campaign being conducted by the national TV channels. However there is not a radical difference between the ratings of Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Alasania. The latest IRI poll in December stated that Ugulava had a rating of 35%, Irakli Alasania 13%, Gubaz Sanikidze 9%, Levan Gachechiladze 3%, Koba Davitashvili 3% and Zviad Dzidziguri 3%, but the Alliance states that Alasania has 21% support at present.