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Georgian opposition try to unite in Germany

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 18
The regrouping of the Georgian opposition which began with the recent collapse of the Alliance for Georgia and the National Council continues. Opposition leaders still say they want to unite, but interestingly it is those who have been derided as "destructive forces” who are taking the initiative to do this.

Leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia Zurab Noghaideli arrived in Germany on June 16 to hold negotiations with another former Minister, the exiled Irakli Okruashvili, purportedly to discuss forming yet another new opposition alliance. Reportedly Director General of Maestro TV Erosi Kitsmarishvili and founder of Defend Georgia Levan Gachechiladze were also present. Noghaideli will announce the results of these negotiations only after returning to the country, but Eka Beselia, the former leader of Okruashvili’s party in Georgia, has confirmed that "the main issue of that meeting was forming a new opposition coalition. The opposition needs new faces, but we are not waiting for members of the Government to join it as those who have done so far have faced so much repression that the rest are afraid. However rats usually run from a sinking ship,” Beselia said.

Some opposition parties have already commented on the possible new coalition. Nino Burjanadze, leader of Democratic Movement- United Georgia, has stated that "Those leaders who are in Munich now asked me to go with them and participate in the negotiations, but as we are not going to join any political alliance at the present moment I refused. I will however work with opposition parties which will fight to remove the present Government.” The Conservative Party denied it would be joining the new grouping. "At the present moment we are not planning to join any coalition, however we are ready to collaborate with this one, as the formula "everyone minus one" is unacceptable for us,” its leader Kakha Kukava said.

Nika Laliashvili from the by Parliamentary minority Christian-Democratic Movement said that current developments are hindering the development of a pro-Western orientation in Georgia. "It is regrettable that the pro-Western ideology has not turned into a powerful uniting factor for certain opposition parties. The collapse of the Alliance is regrettable and is a sign that its constituent parties did not have common values. The parties in the new amalgamation can also be called an eclectic group, as their common pro-Russian orientation is mixed with some other factors,” Laliashvili said.

Analyst Gia Khukhashvili told The Messenger, "This regrouping is a very common and usual process after elections. The Alliance for Georgia and the rest would have been able to maintain their unity if they had come to power. At present there is no need for opposition unification and each party will try to develop its own strength. As for the long term chances of the opposition, the main thing they need to do is form a strong anti-Government force, which could be a single party or a combination of parties, and if a single party manages this there will be no need for opposition unity at all,” Khukhashvili said. He added that, "At the elections Irakli Alasania proved that he has significant intellectual abilities and we now need to see how he can create a viable opposition and how strong a manager is he. He will form this strong anti-Government force if he manages to form a strong party of his own,” Khukhashvili said.