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Will Thursday’s Public Assembly evolve?

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, November 24
The Representative Public Assembly may turn into a street rally according to a statement made by the Assembly’s organisers just two days before the planned meeting on Rustaveli Avenue. As they mentioned previously November 25 will indicate the country’s future. However, the Assembly’s plans do not fit in with some other opposition factions’ intentions, according to which they must act very quickly and effectively to prevent the current President from appointing pre-term elections.

“The authorities have forced us to hold the meeting on Rustaveli Avenue, as they did their best not to allow us a hall. Holding the meeting on the Avenue will be more difficult, however I believe that people will understand the importance of the Assembly and help us to conclude everything peacefully. The assembly will start at 3 o’clock and last for 2 hours. After the assembly what will be held, a meeting or rally is another issue,” Nino Burjanadze, Leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, said.

She mentioned that the Assembly has the means to resist provocations from the authorities, “If there is an attempt of provocation from the authorities, we have the mechanism to suppress it. The diplomatic corps has been warned of the issue; we have already sent a lot of letters to the international community and if there is any provocation the authorities will have to take responsibility for it,” Burjanadze said.

The National Council and the National Forum have already stated that they will participate in the Assembly meeting. Despite admitting respect for people united in the Assembly, the Georgian Party has refused to participate, referring its decision to the current political reality and Saakashvili’s possible plans for pre-term elections. “We respect those people who are united in the Assembly, however we will not participate in the Assembly meeting as we have different views on the terms and not on contents, as terms are sometimes more important. Many factors lead us to believe that Saakashvili is thinking too much about holding pre-term elections, one of them being changing the constitution so hastily. He is trying to become Prime Minister as soon as possible, so as not to leave this issue with a question mark. 2012, when the parliamentary elections are scheduled might be a difficult period for him as the year coincides with the presidential elections in Russia and he prefers to meet this period as Prime Minister. So, we must remove this authority as soon as possible and must not wait for 2012 or 2013,” stated one of the leaders of the party, Sozar Subari .

According to the authorities, they are not too worried about the possible street rally. “Provocations can always be possible, however I can’t understand why we should really expect provocations on November 25. To tell the truth I can’t understand that is the representative public Assembly. We do not intend to strengthen security for the day, neither by the Parliament building, “chair of the Interior Minister’s information-Analytic department, Shota Utiashvili, said.

Analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze stated the better organised side wins a fight. “The authorities are more powerful as they are better organised and integrated, which is not the case with the opposition. If the opposition parties would act together and in accordance with one another they would have a chance to win the battle. I have said from the beginning that the adoption of the new constitution so hastily makes us think that pre-term elections might be held in the country, according to which the political reality will be changed.”