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Opposition divided on Representative Public Assembly

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, September 28
The Representative Public Assembly formed on the initiative of Georgian society is holding a special conference at the Tbilisi Philharmonic Hall on September 29. According to the information released by the Chair of the initiative group Nona Gaprindashvili, NGOs, analysts, public figures and the politicians approving of the meeting will all be present to discuss the current political situation in our country and suggest possible solutions.

The opposition spectrum of opinion is divided in two parts – one side praises the idea of such a unity and the other disapproves. Petre Mamradze from the Movement for Fair Georgia expressed the constant readiness of the Movement in solving the people’s problems. Stressing that the Movement will introduce particular strategies to the public, Mamradze spoke of the necessity of changing the political system to achieve the needed results for the country. “It is important to establish the Parliamentary model of Governance in our country; we will never cooperate with people motivated to come to Government and make the same mistakes as the current Government does,” Mamradze told The Messenger. Talking about Georgia’s prospects of holding a dialogue with Russia, Mamradze highlighted the possibility of the reunification of Abkhazia and reconciliation with Ossetia. “It’s a matter of fact that Georgia is facing a serious economical collapse with a great amount of foreign debt so we are motivated to save our country,” he added.

The founder of the Solidarity to Illegal Prisoners Movement Eka Beselia also plans to attend the public conference stressing that she fully supports its initiators. “It’s high time that people expressed their concern about the Georgian Government and make a decision…” she said stressing that the parties have been trying to avoid engagement in these processes by observing them from a distance. “I think if the Public Council’s ideas will be supported by people, the parties will also share them,” Beselia added.

Zviad Dzidziguri, the leader of Conservative Party, is among the politicians who do not agree with the Assembly’s initiatives. “I do agree with the idea but not the group carrying out the plan,” he explained. “It’s definitely a good idea to hold a conference but the group engaged in these processes is unable to follow the idea in the proper way,” he said adding he has not received an official invitation to the meeting. The co-leader of the party Kakha Kukava called the idea “interesting” but explained that the Public Assembly has actually been oriented on substituting the political authorities with public figures, thus Kukava found it illogical for the politicians to participate in such a conference.

Manana Nachkebia from the New Rights Party said they will not join the conference. “We do actually wish the Assembly members to achieve all their targets but our party will no longer participate in projects which haven’t been initiated by us,” Nachkebia explained to The Messenger.

Analyst Nika Chitadze described the idea of holding a public meeting as negative event. “The political organizers of the meeting (referring to Nino Burjanadze the leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia and Zurab Nogaideli the leader of the Movement for Fair Georgia) have been visiting Moscow and appraising PM Vladimir Putin who on his side used to claim how sorry he was for the results of the August War in 2008. I hope that the Georgian honorable opposition spectrum which took part in the local self-government elections will refrain from attending the event with no specific project to share with the audience,” Chitadze said hoping that the “progressive political representatives are motivated on caring for Georgia’s future” would consider this.

Another analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze has a different concern. Stressing the Public Assembly has been able to unite the society under the unique idea – to change the Government, the analyst wondered why some political parties refrain from participating in the meeting. “The Assembly has managed to gather the scattered opposition and public faces which certain opposition parties have tried and failed to do on several occasions,” Sakvarelidze told us.