Opposition factions foresee revolution in Georgia
By Salome Modebadze
Friday, March 4
In recent days, the opposition representatives have made predictions about a possible civil revolution in Georgia. In an interview given to Interpressnews on March 3 the leader of Democratic Movement - United Georgia Nino Burjanadze expressed her belief that “events in Georgia would unfortunately develop into a revolutionary scenario.” Stressing that President Mikheil Saakashvili would do everything to keep his ruling position as long as possible, Burjanadze spoke of the necessity of starting protest rallies in Georgia.
“Saakashvili doesn’t leave any chance to avoid this scenario but we should try hard to ensure the peaceful development of events,” she stated. Encouraging more people to join the rallies, Burjanadze emphasized that Saakashvili wouldn’t dare act against the people and the peaceful consequences would be ensured. Doubting the possible cooperation with other oppositional parties, Burjanadze spoke of the mistrust towards particular individuals which may “accidentally or deliberately” encourage Saakashvili’s authority with their decisions.
The leader of United Georgia said they would cooperate with the political and public authorities, “who will never make deals with Saakashvili, adapt to his regime and won’t disapprove their policy.” Burjanadze expressed her confidence that the policy the Movement has been following with the Representative Public Assembly so far would end with the withdrawal of the current Government. “We will do everything to free our country and people from the current regime and have a chance to develop properly,” she stated.
Members of Georgian Party feared that a “revolution would be inevitable in Georgia if the President wouldn’t soften his grip on power.” Talking of the necessity for carrying out “real changes”, party members stressed they would chair the process for “putting the country on a path of irresistible progress.” Political Secretary of the party Erosi Kitsmarishvili wondered whether Saakashvili would make concessions and ensure a free electoral environment. Explaining that if they wouldn’t be given an opportunity to carry out changes through elections, Kitsmarishvili described a revolution as "the only one means” for withdrawing the current political regime.
As co-founder of the party Levan Gachechiladze said on March 3, the Government has expressed their readiness to start dialogue with them. Calling it the “first spring victory”, Gachechiladze appealed to the Parliamentary Chairman Davit Bakradze to join the Georgian Party with his team and solve the problems “without blood”.
Leader of Our Georgia – Free Democrats Irakli Alasania noted with “cautious optimism” that parts of the Georgian authorities are ready to implement “real and substantive changes.” Alasania explained that much would depend on the negotiations on the reforms in the electoral system and Saakashvili’s political will. “But at this stage there is a real mood among the authorities that the time for changes has come,” he stated.
Alasania listed various reasons for launching protest rallies but denied there was a necessity for a “forceful overthrow of the Government.” He also explained that the rallies would take place if Saakashvili “blocks” the political will for changes among the authorities by his “unilateral decisions.” Alasania spoke of Saakashvili as the “barrier for the country’s development.” Asking his colleagues to appreciate the difference between Saakashvili and the state, the leader of Free Democrats encouraged everyone not to fight against the country.
Leader of New Rights, Davit Gamkrelidze, said they would do everything to prevent a revolutionary scenario in the country. Talking of the negative effect of such processes on the statehood, Gamkrelidze spoke of the necessity for withdrawing the current Government through electoral changes. Talking of the “great failures” followed by the “announced revolutions” for the oppositional movements, Gamkrelidze asked his colleagues to refrain from making predictions. “We had better work with the electorate and unite for fair elections. Let’s prove ourselves and defeat Saakashvili together,” he said stressing that a revolution would harden the situation in the country.
Encouraging the President to free justice, media and business from his influence, Gamkrelidze told Pirweli news agency that revolutions are generally started by people provoked by the Government. Critisizing the activities carried out by the Government in different fields, Gamkrelidze spoke of elections as the “most precise way” for the peaceful withdrawal of the Government.
Analyst Gia Khukhashvili shared his concern around the issue to The Messenger. “Choices are generally made by the Governments: if they want the normal development of the processes they create the competitive electoral environment, in other cases they simply deny such a chance and revolutions (e.g. in Egypt and Libya) follow,” the analyst said stressing it is not up to opposition spectrum to choose the solution.
Highlighting that the opposition representatives try to act as analysts by predicting the particular steps, Khukhashvili disapproved of the trend of “loud ineffective announcements.” “The political elite in Georgia has been obsessed with “political impotence”: they talk much but fail in making real business,” Khukhashvili told us adding that logically the Government doesn’t seem to be ready for resignation through elections.