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Radical opposition may unite for May 21 protest

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, May 19
After the first suggestion and first refusal of starting negotiations with the Representative Public Assembly, the Georgian Party has not conceded and made another, in this case written, suggestion to the Representative Public Assembly’s leadership. It transpired that the second suggestion received a different response from the first.

“We are ready to start negotiations with the Representative Public Assembly in any form regarding May 21 demonstration. The Georgian Party is ready to collaborate with all forces which are not in dialogue with the authorities, “leader of the party, Sozar Subari, said.

Our door is open for all – one of the leaders of the Assembly, Irakli Batiashvili said on May 18,” we would be glad to have more consolidation of the society in this process. “

However he did not specify how widely that door might be opened. As the head of the Representative Public Assembly, Nona Gaprindashvili said before Batiashvili’s response, the Assembly welcomed other political organization’s participation in the process, however such forces would be able to take part only in demonstrations, “they will not be involved in any Representative Public Assembly’s decisions, their participation would just be a sign of their wish to stand with Georgian people.” At the same time, Gaprindashvili stated that she is sure that if society can ignore any influence from the authorities’ side, people will lose their fear and participate in the demonstration, “we have worked a lot, we could have named the date quickly, however we did not behave like this. In this period there had been a lot of cases of repression of people from the Government side, however, there is such a hard situation in the country that people would stand up and speak out against this regime.”

”If this so called radical group take stones in their hands, Molotov cocktails and other weapons, we would have an adequate response”, majority representative Goka Gabashvili, said and mentioned that the authorities do not intend to oppose a peaceful protest with bullets, “if Gachechiladze thinks they will call people into the streets, they themselves would stand behind our citizens backs and start shooting. This will not happen, for such actions the authorities have their response, however I do not expect that such a scenario with the opposition will come true, “ Gabashvili said and explained that those groups which are trying to start a revolution in the country have a significantly lower rating compared to those oppositional parties which refuse to adopt radical methods.

Parliament Chair, Davit Bakradze could see nothing special in the street rallies, “this is part of democracy, everyone has right to hold demonstrations in the frames of the constitution.”

According to analyst Soso Tsintsadze such a step from the Representative Public Assembly’s side which moves them closer to the Georgian Party, would be equal to a catastrophe for the Assembly's plans, “as after Irakli Okruashvili’s statements the Georgian party would need much time to restore its reputation in the eyes of Georgian people; in general, I am skeptical towards the process and have little expectation.”