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Saakashvili says that Noghaideli is angry with the Georgian people

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, February 16
The President of Georgia met representatives of the Georgian Diaspora in Vancouver,Canada on February 15 and talked about the situation in Georgia, relations with Russia and some Georgian opposition leaders’ frequent visits to Moscow.

Saakashvili called politicians who visit Russia angry with the Georgian people. "Those who have become malicious because the Georgian people do not love them are angry with the Georgian people. They take revenge on them by openly hugging the enemy. These kind of actions cannot diminish Georgia, because if we remember the past, there have always been such people in our country,” the President stated.

Zurab Noghaideli, the leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia, who is often criticised for his frequent visits to Moscow and his collaboration with the Russian ruling forces, says that these visits will ensure a better future for Georgia. It has recently been reported that Noghaideli might be arrested due to these Russian connections, but in an interview on February 15 he excluded this possibility. "I categorically exclude my imprisonment by the present Government, as it will be removed so quickly that it will have no time to do this,” Noghaideli suggested. He said that this change of Government will occur through elections, but if the elections are falsified street rallies will start.

The Movement of Fair Georgia has already accused the Government of trying to rig the upcoming local elections. Noghaideli said this at a press conference on February 15, alleging that criminals, as well as the police and administrative bodies, will help it forge the votes.

The ex-PM asserted that the Government is continuing to terrorise people loyal to the opposition and is threatening to dismiss Government employees with different political views. "My Movement will control the voting process thoroughly and inform the public about each significant violation. We will reveal and eradicate any attempt at vote forging,” Noghaideli said.

Some of the Georgian opposition consider Noghaideli's Russian trips acceptable and positive, but others, including students, call him a traitor. Both political analysts and social scientists have been voicing their opinions on this issue. Professor of Sociology Iago Kachkachishvili says that Noghaideli is a not very important political figure rather than a traitor. "Abkhazians and Ossetians will soon get bored of being marionettes in Russian hands and will strike out against the Russian Government sooner or later. The most important thing at the moment is for the Georgian side to try and create better social and political conditions there, but I think that the present Government is unable to do this. As for Noghaideli’s activities, who is this man? He is a politician whose personal and party rating is extremely low, he has no real way of directing policy and his missions seem to have zero effect. By drawing attention to Noghaideli’s connections with Russia the Government is trying to hide its own incapacity to deal with Russia,” Kachkachishvili suggested. He added that he hoped that negotiations with Russia will necessarily take place and be conducted by respectable and powerful political forces from Georgia, not the present Government or politicians like Zurab Noghaideli.

At his meeting in Vancouver Saakashvili also suggested introducing special classes for Georgian children living abroad so they do not forget the Georgian language and culture. He also said that as part of the Patriot Project Georgian children living in foreign countries will take holidays in Patriotic camps in Georgia and the Government will work to ensure this happens.