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Opposition searches for new opportunities

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 6
After a long pause the Opposition has begun to act, outlining its future plans and identifying how to oppose to the ruling administration, which in turn believes it will retain power for a long time.

There are certain dates which are worth mentioning – the first is November 25, when the public assembly has decided to convene a large public representative meeting. Former parliamentary chair, Nino Burjanadze and her party is leading this activity. The second is October 4, when 8 opposition parties initiated a new draft for the elections code and suggested to the ruling party adopting the proposal. These are two different actions put forward by the opposition. Presumably, first to neutralise the more radical bodies, the ruling administration should agree to negotiate the elections code with the initiators of the new elections code project. This is the only way to really ensure free elections.

The Opposition is not homogeneous and it is unlikely to unite in the near future. The reason being is that different forces within the group are represented by political leaders of a similar caliber, none of whom wants to admit another’s leadership. Nobody wants to relinquish their first position, and understandably the ruling administration takes advantage of the situation. The Opposition has two options – one is a rather aggressive move i.e. forcing the ruling power to resign, while the second is simply to participate in the elections and win. Opposition supporters of the first option say that to conduct fair elections under the governance of present political power is an illusion; there will be no fair, free and transparent elections. Other Opposition members claim it is possible to achieve free, fair and transparent elections.

The public representation meeting scheduled for November 25 is linked to the name of Nino Burjanadze; many opposition leaders do not accept Burjanadze’s leadership and therefore think this way rather risky. The idea envisages inviting representatives from every region to Tbilisi and demanding snap parliamentary and presidential elections, which in its essence means that the current authorities should resign. It is well-known this kind of demand lasted almost for four month in 2009 and resulted in no changes. So the situation could become rather vague, it could lead to the possibility of organising an alternative system of governance, run by a union of representatives. But this would be an anti-constitutional act and of course would not be tolerated by the ruling administration. The second option of using a new elections code is endorsed by Georgia’s foreign friends because it would be in compliance with the democratic development of the country. The proposed new elections code suggests introducing biometric votes and identification cards/ passports as well as a different composition of parliament, with MPs being elected through proportional and regional lists. In short if the ruling power has a choice it should choose the second option which will definitely preserve stability in the country and retain support from outside.