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Opinions differ over new coalition

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 12
The new opposition coalition has already caused controversy among the various factions of Georgia’s opposition. Some opposition parties have already firmly expressed their views of the new party, with their assessments differing significantly. In addition there are small differences in analysts’ forecasts concerning the coalition future rating.

Former Defence Minister of Georgia, Irakli Okruashvili, leader of Defense Georgia, Levan Gachechiladze, Former Ambassador of Georgia to Russia, Erosi Kintsmarishvili and the opposition representative, Koka Guntsadze, have already been named as the leaders of the new opposition coalition, which will be officially presented to society on October 12.

I am not ruling out a close collaboration with the party, one of the leaders of the Conservative party, Kakha Kukava, stated, “I have friendly relations with the future leaders of the party. I think representatives of the radical opposition should be in close relations. For now it is rather early to think about how to create some kind of alliance with the party, however, I repeat that the radical opposition should collaborate,” Kukava stated.

Party leader, Zurab Noghaideli had negotiations with the party leaders some months ago and our door is open for collaboration with any opposition representative of the Movement for a Fair Georgia, Petre Mamradze told The Messenger, saying, “We welcome the party’s creation, as there are people in the party with significant experience of working in governmental structures and are very much aware of the political life in our country. Our leader, Zurab Noghaideli has had negotiations with Okruashvili and we welcome collaboration with any opposition faction. Our door is open for this.”

Member of the New Rights party, Manana Nachkebia told The Messenger, “We welcome the new opposition party and welcome the fact that those opposition politicians who were previously scattered are being united in a party. As for our collaboration with them, we will make decisions concerning the issue when we get information on their future activities and plans.”

According to Georgia’s way press service, the party leader, Salome Zourabichvili has no comment regarding the new opposition coalition at the present moment. ( spokesperson Sopo Jajanashvili told The Messenger)

In contrast to the above mentioned opposition views, the Democratic Movement-United Georgia’s attitude concerning the party is much stronger, “Our party will not have any kind of relation with any party in which Irakli Okruashvili is involved, ” the chair of the party press service, Vako Avaliani told The Messenger.

Analyst Nika Chitadze told The Messenger, “This coalition is not for progress or democratic values; they are just united against the President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, which is a negative sign. As for those united in the party, what can be said about them? Gachechiladze - even before the elections he had no kind of manifesto or programme; Guntsadze physically assaulted his opponent during the TV debates and Kintsamarishvili, who was angry that he was no longer Ambassador to Russia, openly showed that Georgia started the war against Russia. This unification is not based on real political values or principles. I welcome a strong opposition in the country, however not like this.” Chitadze added, “Despite this, they will have their voters and it is possible that nearly 10% of society will support the party, as a result of Gachechiladze’s rating especially in some districts of Tbilisi, and the financial means of Kintsmarishvili. Moscow’s support cannot be ruled out either.”

Analyst Soso Tsintsadze believes, “It will be quite difficult for the new party to gain the public’s trust.”