No one will cooperate with the Alliance
By Salome Modebadze
Friday, April 9On April 8 the co-leaders of the Alliance for Georgia finished their internal consultations and expressed their readiness to continue conducting their election campaign. They held these consultations at the office of Our Georgia – Free Democrats in an attempt to decide whether negotiations with the opposition parties on a joint candidate for upcoming local elections would continue or not. Sozar Subari, co-Leader of the Alliance for Georgia and Levan Gachechiladze, leader of Defend Georgia had been discussing this the previous week with the National Council, Industry Will Save Georgia, the Democratic Movement-United Georgia and the Labour Party.
Irakli Alasania, leader of the Alliance for Georgia, had arrived from the US early that morning. He told the media that he wasn’t at all interested in other people’s opinions. “I will meet Sozar [Subari] and he will inform me of the results of the consultations even though I am somewhat familiar with them and we will make further decisions afterwards,” Alasania said before the meeting. After it he said, “We summarised the results of consultations held by Sozar Subari during the last few days. No agreement was found with any of the parties except Salome Zourabichvili, whom we will continue to negotiate with.” He stressed that the Alliance for Georgia had tried to come to an agreement with other parties but in vain. In consequence, Irakli Alasania will remain the candidate for Tbilisi Mayor and Sozar Subari the candidate for Chair of the City Council.
Opposition representatives started discussing this issue quite a long time ago, Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights, said before the meeting, adding that Subari had only been mandated to investigate the chances of the opposition unifying around Alasania’s candidacy. “Sozar had to enquire what the chances of having a joint opposition candidate were. However I think that the people’s concerns are more important than any leader’s decision.” “We have encouraged all parties to support Alasania’s candidacy and thus consultations will continue only with those parties supporting this idea,” Davit Usupashvili, the Republican leader, said without giving the names of these parties, saying that they would become known to the public soon. “It was impossible to come to an agreement but if the other parties think they have a better candidate for Tbilisi Mayor the elections will demonstrate who is right,” he added.
Levan Gachechiladze said that he couldn’t comment on the issue because he was not attending the meeting but would by all means meet Alasania. “Choosing a joint candidate needs time and patience. It’s a long process and we will deal with it after the meeting,” Gachechiladze stated. Viktor Dolidze from the Alliance of Georgia said that the initiative to adopt a joint candidate for the Chair of the City Council had met with no particular reaction from other opposition representatives. “Sozar Subari made a kind gesture and withdrew his candidacy for City Council Chair so that an agreed joint candidate could be adopted, but he has received no response yet,” explained Dolidze.
Zurab Noghaideli, leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia, said that no victory will be possible without his involvement. “No one in our party had ever asked to cooperate with Alasania, all the initiatives [of cooperation] have come from the Alliance for Georgia. But if they refuse to cooperate with us, let them do so. Let anyone who wants to be defeated refuse our support,” Noghaideli stated.