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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Wednesday, July 7
Irakli Batiashvili – Saakashvili does not need to become Prime Minister

Political analyst Irakli Batiashvili states in an interview with Akhali Taoba, "I want to say again that this regime does not plan to make any compromises concerning elections. We should not have such an illusion. Saakashvili does not plan to leave after 2013 and nor will the National Movement leave after 2012. We should not have the illusion that Saakashvili will transfer his power to Alasania, Burjanadze or Natelashvili.

"The relevant preparations are underway within the governing elite. They are still working on how they can redistribute power among themselves. I think Saakashvili will not retain power himself, as he does not need to be either President or Prime Minister He will sit somewhere in a wonderful office, controlling all the secret political and financial leverages and feeling happy. It makes no difference whether Ugulava is President with restricted powers or Vano Merabishvili is Prime Minister with increased powers. The National Movement will have the majority in Parliament again and nothing will change for our country," Irakli Batiashvili says.

"Saakashvili may be thinking of following Putin’s example, but if he is pressed by the West he will offer to hold Parliamentary and Presidential elections. At the Parliamentary elections the National Movement will gain another victory and form a Government led by Vano Merabishvili. Then they will hold the Presidential elections and their man – either Bakradze or Ugulava – will win these. Neither Clinton nor Sarkozy can tell Saakashvili, "When you go you must put Alasania in your place". He will just say "alright, I will go and hold elections" Batiashvili says.

"There is no case in history in which an authoritarian regime has been removed via elections. This always happens as a result of general public protest, pressure and activity which are followed by independent, free and objective elections. This is the only real way out of the situation. The opposition should have the one goal of dismantling the present regime and holding democratic elections,” Batiashvili adds.

"If people see that the opposition is united around a single idea they will come out into the streets. The rest will depend on the opposition leaders crowning everything with a great victory,” he says.

Labour Party attacks Tutberidze

Labour Party Deputy Giorgi Gugava, who refused to take his seat in Parliament, states in an interview with Alia, "When the bill about making the abuse of religious sensibilities an offence was submitted to Parliament Tea Tutberidze stated via your newspaper that it would not be approved. Do you see who is really in control of Parliament? We demanded that Nestan Kirtadze be at the committee hearing, a she is the co-author of the bill along with Shalva Natelashvili. The committee hearing prepares the bill for submission to Parliament and its sponsor cannot be an MP. We nominated Nestan Kirtadze but they are seeking reasons to throw the bill out. The MPs act on the instructions of Her Excellency Tea Tutberidze," Giorgi Gugava says.

Asked why he thought people he accuses of hurting people's religious feelings will support his bill, Gugava says, "The bill does not only deal with Orthodoxy. It deals with the belief of a individual and his or her religious feelings no matter which confession they adhere to. The same law exists in Spain, Germany, Greece etc. therefore there is no reason not to support it. Let’s see! Everything will be clear soon."