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Opposition Eight announces new strategy

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, June 17
One of the leaders of New Rights, Mamuka Katsitadze, gave a press conference on June 16, where he answered the questions regarding the opposition 8 and its future plans. According him, recent events have created some misunderstanding within the group and that the opposition 8 must focus on its main goal.

‘The initial task and aim of the Oppositional Eight was to change the electoral environment through negotiations. After the negotiations entered deadlock, new initiations arose, which are unacceptable for us. We think the Oppositional Eight should maintain its initial task and aim’, Katsitadze said.

According to him, the issues of human rights, conditions of prisoners, etc, are very important, but they are not problems of the coalition.

Katsitadze said that considering an expansion of the Oppositional Eight or holding street protests were not on the agenda at this stage.

Katsitadze expressed hope that, “the government will make concessions. Recent statements, made by the government regarding readiness for electoral reform, give us ground for hope’.

Katsitadze also said there were differences in the Oppositional Eight from the very beginning, though they had always managed to achieve a consensus.

Despite the fact the authorities do not even comment on the issue after the end of May, the leader of the party, Davit Gamkrelidze hopes that such a decision, meaning individual collaboration with the authorities on election reform, would supply some positive outcomes, “this is an attempt at survival by the Opposition Eight. Herewith, such an initiative has also been voiced from the authorities and we are ready to try, “Gamkrelidze, said.

For Christian-Democrat, starting individual negotiations means rearranging the opposition 8. However, based on them this process might deliver a result, “as the first way turned out to be unsuccessful,“ Levan Vepkhvadze, from the Movement , said.

The statement that the Opposition 8 was ready to individually collaborate with the authorities was made on June 15. Before the statement, the authority representatives had decided that the demands of the Opposition Eight were far from reality and unacceptable, thus those negotiations went down a blind alley. At the same time, the majority representatives have frequently mentioned that election reform was required and in this context, the opposition parties' involvement in the process was also necessary. At this point, the individual approach was mentioned by them, however, the statement from opposition parties that they are ready to engage in dialogue individually has yet to yield a response from the authorities.