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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Monday, February 22
Ramaz Klimiashvili: Saakashvili might replace Gigi Ugulava with Gia Chanturia

Sakartvelos Respublika reports that political scientist Ramaz Klimiashvili has said: "Mikheil Saakashvili is worried about the high rating of Gigi Ugulava and might make Gia Chanturia the National Movement's candidate for Mayor instead. Ugulava has a very high rating, which is increasing every day, and this troubles the Government and the President above all. They know that after the election Ugulava’s position will be stronger and this will provoke hysteria in the ruling party. Therefore there is a real possibility that Mikheil Saakashvili will adopt Gia Chanturia as Mayoral candidate instead,” Klimiashvili said.

“Chanturia is not an opposition but a Government candidate and bringing him into politics is a tactical move by the Government. Gigi Ugulava has still not been named as the National Movement candidate. There are three months before the elections and there is nothing unacceptable for the authorities in Chanturia’s rating,” explained Ramaz Klimiashvili.

Sozar Subari – Noghaideli’s policy is not pro-Russian but Russian

"We are advocating 'Unity Minus One', but if there is anyone who thinks that Russia has not occupied Georgian territory we want to be minus them as well. Only one party has openly made a statement on this. If the other parties share that party's position, they should say so clearly. I think it is a simple question – has Russia occupied our territory or not?" the Alliance for Georgia's Sozar Subari states in an interview with Akhali Taoba.

"We can say there are four approaches. The anti-Russian approach, the Government's one, which attacks everything Russian, is disastrous for Georgia politically. I disassociate myself from such a policy. The second approach implies the restoration of relations with Russia to ensure the restoration of territorial integrity and the ultimate integration of Georgia with the West. This is the policy I support," Sozar Subari says.

‘The third approach can be called pro-Russian and has as its goal the restoration of territorial integrity and good neighbourly relations but with ultimate integration with the Russian sphere of influence. This is politically inadmissible for me. As for the fourth approach, that is Russian policy. Noghaideli’s policy is not pro-Russian but Russian. I exclude cooperation with such people," Sozar Subari adds.

Asked whether Alliance leader Irakli Alasania will stand down as a Mayoral candidate if the opposition unites around another person, Subari said "Alasania will not decline his candidature. As for me, I will decline not only my candidature for the post of City Council Chair but even being a member of it for the sake of unity."

Goga Khaindrava – I have never doubted Kakha and Zviad’s devotion to Georgia but I cannot understand their alliance with Noghaideli

"I believe Noghaideli’s appearance in the political arena is part of a plot by Saakashvili to divide the opposition. Noghaideli stated a pro-Russian position after the August War when no other person was ready to cooperate with the Russian authorities. Noghaideli has been set up for this purpose," Rezonansi writes.

"Saakashvili seems to create two poles – on the one hand he is pro-Western, and on the other Noghaideli will either unite or merge with the opposition to help Saakashvili direct his propaganda against the opposition. Fortunately there are not many politicians who agree with Noghaideli’s policy. I am surprised that the Conservatives support him though. I have never doubted Kakha and Zviad’s devotion to Georgia but I cannot understand their alliance with Noghaideli," Khaindrava says.

‘Noghaideli is a thief in law. He was a bureaucrat for 12 years, wearing galoshes and living in Zurab Zhvania’s flat, and today he presents himself as a millionaire. How has Noghaideli managed to earn so much money when he is not allowed to take part in commercial activities? If I have these questions, I cannot believe that Saakashvili and Merabishvili do not have such questions when they make up similar stories about honest persons. Certainly the Conservatives should also have such questions," Khaindrava states.

Asked why the Conservatives are interested in working with Noghaideli, Goga Khaindrava answers: "You should put that question to them. It is a simple issue and needs an answer. I doubt that Noghaideli will get away from such accusations. It is up to him whether he chooses to be in politics, at a meeting or somewhere else but I cannot understand the approach of the Russian Government. Who is Noghaideli in Georgia? Is he an authoritative person? On the contrary, Noghaideli seeks authority in the camp of the enemy."