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Another exit from the Representative Public Assembly

By Salome Modebadze
Monday, February 7
The National Council left the Executive Board of the Representative Public Assembly on February 4. The National Council members had hoped that the Assembly could have been the body “uniting the opposition” and expressed their disappointment in the activities carried out by Assembly members. Explaining that they had to play the role of mediator among the opposition spectrum, Kakha Kukava, Koba Davitashvili and Zviad Dzidziguri worried that the Assembly had even failed to stop quarrels among the opposition teams.

Explaining that they could only see a way out of the “hardest social-political situation” by cooperating with the united opposition teams, the National Council members spoke about participation in joint oppositional projects as their main priority. “We hope that all the Georgian opposition factions will use their political, organisational and financial resources not against each other but to change Saakashvili’s authoritarian regime,” read the official statement released by the Council members.

Doubting the reasons given by the National Council, Nona Gaprindashvili, Head of the Representative Public Assembly said she could see no particular problems with their decision. Adding that the National Council had never been a member of the Public Representative Assembly she explained that Zviad Dzidziguri had attended several meetings but as the leader of Conservative party. Gaprindashvili commented that anyone was free to distance themselves from the Assembly and stressed that they wouldn’t fail to implement the appropriate activities with their supporters.

Nino Burjanadze, member of the Representative Public Assembly’s executive council and the Leader of Democratic Movement – United Georgia, said the Assembly would continue its fight against the Government while “some particular political forces have been escaping from this process.” “It is completely unclear to me why some opposition groups have been leaving the union. If they dislike the current Government and its activities they should participate in the processes we initiate,” Burjanadze said stressing that the Assembly has no aim to “burn all its bridges” with the National Council. Uncertain of the exact date when “public disobedience” would be declared, Burjanadze encouraged the sides to share the Representative Public Assembly’s vision and cooperate.

In December 2010 Eka Beselia, leader of the movement ‘Solidarity with Illegal Prisoners’ withdrew from the Assembly because of a scandal involving Nino Burjanadze and Levan Gachechiladze (co-leader of Georgian Party). Burjanadze and her husband Badri Bitsadze had been blaming Gachechiladze for taking a bribe after the 2008 presidential elections to stop the street rallies. It was the same December when the National Forum chaired by Kakha Shartava also left the Assembly due to “confrontations inside the opposition” hoping that the Representative Public Assembly “would not turn into an arena of political confrontations.”

Political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili told The Messenger, “Society has developed a “well-balanced” view of the Representative Public Assembly but unfortunately expectations are mostly changeable: sometimes they exist, but sometimes they disappear. Moreover the political parties are more concerned with solving their internal relations and refrain from following the united goal. They seem to follow ideas which better promote their political interests.” He added, “If each opposition power would forget their ambition, the Representative Public Assembly could actually become an example of political and social unity.”