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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 17
Burjanadze on elections and protest rallies

In an interview to Rezonansi Nino Burjanadze ex-parliamentary speaker and leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia party talks about the forthcoming elections: “I’ve always been saying that the government should be changed through elections, but, unfortunately, Saakashvili is creating a situation in which the holding of free and democratic elections is impossible, because democratic elections pose a threat to him,” she said.

“But today reality has changed to some extent – if previously there was no chance of holding free and democratic elections, today we can say that certain positive changes are visible. But it requires a struggle on a daily basis in order to set the media free from the authorities’ grip and to make [the authorities] release political prisoners etc,” Burjanadze told the paper.

“As far as Ivanishvili’s statement is concerned that he strongly rules out [street protest] rallies, I think that’s his desire, because we all want to hold free and democratic elections in a calm atmosphere and to change the government without pain and difficulties. But time will show how real it will be in the current changed conditions,” Burjanadze said.

Does Patriarch support Ivanishvili?

Ivanishvili met with Catholicos Patriarch Ilia II on Tuesday, Rezonansi writes. Prior to this meeting Georgia’s patriarch stated that citizenship should be granted to Ivanishvili. Rezonansi asked people what they think about this and if it means that the patriarch openly supports Ivanishvili. The well known actor Imeda Kakhiani: “I am pretty sure that the patriarch supports Ivanishvili and I think what the patriarch says we should support his opinion and decision. It is not surprising that the patriarch supports Ivanishvili, who would not support Ivanishvili, the man who constructed Sameba Cathedral?”

Mathematician Academician Ivane Kuguradze is also sure that Ilia II supports Ivanishvili and according to him this fact is proven by the patriarch’s request to restore Georgia’s citizenship to Ivanishvili.

Singer Nugzar Kvashali thinks that the patriarch’s statement on restoring Georgian citizenship to Ivanishvili does not mean that he supports the businessman. “He sent a message towards the government and asked to restore Ivanishvili’s citizenship because he deserves it as he has done lots of kind things for Georgia,” Kvashali says.