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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Monday, August 2
Opposition unites to fight for Election Code

7 Georgian oppositional parties have begun to work on a united strategy for the improvement of the electoral environment. They believe prestigious international organizations should also be involved in the process together with Georgian society, who can assist in conducting negotiations on the improvement of the electoral environment between the opposition and the government. The parties have already released statements on the matter signed by ‘National Forum’, ‘New Rightists’, ‘Conservatives’, Alasania’s ‘Free Democrats’, ‘Republicans’, ‘People’s Party’ and ‘Georgia’s Way’, Rezonansi reads.

‘It is unacceptable for us for the government to suggest the mediator. The negotiations on the Election Code must be held in the format which will not be discriminative. The previous negotiations were carried out using a format proposed by NDI (the government's representative). Would they like it if I were to suggest holding negotiations with Koba Davitashvili as the mediator? I doubt they will. There must be an impartial organization. It is unacceptable when one side appoints a mediator’, - said Kakha Kukava, a Conservative Party leader.

"We can discuss the matter. In my opinion, it must be one of European organizations, because Georgia is a part of Europe rather than a state of America. If the mediator is NDI again, we shall not take part in the process. As for our requirements, it is a second stage where the concrete issues must be considered. The problematic issues must be on the agenda. I mean the lists of electorates which are not yet verified, the electoral system, the electoral administration, the role of media, the role of police within the elections – all these issues need contemporary regulation." Kukava stated.

"I suppose, it will be launched in September. We have not agreed on anything yet. ‘National Forum’ undertook to organize it, but the document is open for everyone to sign. The leverage of pressure is our unity. We must claim the negotiations are oriented on the improvement of the electoral environment in the country. An opposition with different tastes cannot be a united one, but if the opposition manages to take a principle position, the outcome will be desirable,” Kakha Kukava concluded.

Irakli Kakabadze plans to launch actions against the president

The President of Georgia has fallen into another scandal, for which he may suffer serious international damage. In fact, the West has been rather critical towards him of late. While he has received a number of high-ranking diplomats throughout July, as the opposition says, it means nothing and the West is suspicious of him. This opinion may deteriorate further as a result of his last statement. "The world pays great attention to the reactions over racist statements and the president of Georgia is accused of making racist statements," Akhali Taoba writes.

That ominous statement was made by the president while speaking about customs. Saakashvili was embarrassed by the behaviour of customs officers – he said that they had been behaving like Negros and savages – ‘Why do we open the bags of passengers at customs, are we Negros? Why do we behave like savages?’ – That was the statement made by our president who often tells us that he received the education in the USA. The opposition immediately accused Saakashvili of racism. Saakashvili’s statement also embarrassed the writer Irakli Kakabadze. He held a special press conference at the Centre of Human Rights, which was also attended by representatives of accredited embassies. Kakabadze accused Saakashvili of racism and demanded that he apologize publicly.

”I am giving him one hour to apologize. If he does not do it in an hour, I shall launch protest actions against him,” Kakabadze stated. Saakashvili seemed not to have heard of Kakabardze’s ultimatum. Anyway, an hour passed and the president did not apologize. Irakli Kakabadze seems to have to be launching the protest actions alone. The opposition does not seem to be eager to join Kakabadze…While Kakabadze cannot hope for the opposition, he really wants Saakashvili to apologize, moreover, to apologize to the blacks of the whole world.