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Another one leaves the Alliance

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 4
It was announced on June 3 that Koka Guntsadze has followed Sozar Subari in defecting from the Alliance for Georgia after the May 30 local government elections. He has not made an official statement about his defection and he has not officially informed the party that he has resigned but his departure has been confirmed by Alliance members.

"When someone is not a member of any political party he cannot be a politician. Unlike some other activists he was in a hurry to remove this Government; therefore his decision is not surprising to me. It seems Guntsadze could not find his place in the Alliance because his ideas differ from ours. Neither Subari’s nor Guntsadze’s decision will affect the Alliance’s rating or hinder us in achieving our goals,” Levan Berdzenishili from the Alliance for Georgia stated.

Georgian online news site Pirveli suggested that Guntsadze and another Alliance member, Irakli Batiashvili, might now join Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement-United Georgia. "We heard this on May 23, when one of our reporters accidently heard Guntsadze and Batiashvili talking in a cafe, however as it was during the election we did not report it. We tried to recheck the information but Batiashvili and Guntsadze denied it and verbally insulted our reporters. However Alliance members tell us that Koka Guntsadze has very seldom been seen in the Alliance lately,” the news agency said.

Burjanadze has not denied that her party has attracted new members but she has not specified who they are. At a meeting with the Movement’s regional representatives on June 3 she expressed strong criticism of the Alliance for Georgia. "The Alliance for Georgia is inconsistent. Saying one day that the elections were held normally and the next that they were totally falsified demonstrates this.” Before the meeting she had underlined that, "Our supporters will be pleasantly surprised very soon, as we are waiting for worthy people to appear among us.”

At present the Alliance is more concerned with challenging the election results. On the same day Irakli Alasania, the Alliance Chair, said at a special briefing that Davit Saganelidze, not the Government's candidate, had won the Vake district City Council seat. "We have filed a petition demanding that the Vake election be annulled, as the names of two candidates, Kakha Kukava and Giorgi Gurgulia, who had withdrawn from the contest in favour of Saganelidze were still on the ballot papers so the electors voted for them as well,” Alasania said.

Analyst Irakli Sesiashvili says that Subari and Guntsadze’s decision to leave the Alliance for Georgia is premature. "I think this is a hasty decision by them, but before the next elections many things will change and these people might be united again in some other alliance. The most important thing is how prepared the opposition will be for the next elections. At the present moment who comes and goes has no great importance and will not affect the political process significantly,” Sesiashvili said.

Fellow analyst Soso Tsintsadze, says that frequent changes of position might reflect badly on the Alliance. "Alasania does himself no good by making controversial statements. This will negatively reflect on the Alliance’s rating and might also reduce its prestige in the eyes of foreign observers. Making positive statements one day and negative ones the next on exactly the same issue is not fitting for such a serious politician as Alasania,” Tsintsadze stated.

Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze told The Messenger, "this is not the first time the Alliance has suddenly changed its opinions. There are politicians and parties whose public image is not affected no matter what they do, but some can be disliked if there is even a small controversy attached to their names. I can’t say exactly which of these two groups the Alliance belongs to, but changing your position is never positive in the political field. As for Subari’s and Guntsadze’s decision, it is understandable that they can no longer find a place in the Alliance. In general, those who lose a contest rather than those who win are the ones who leave,” Sakvarelidze said.