The demonstration was a message to Europe, US – Ivanishvili states
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, May 29
After opening the pre election campaign with a large scale demonstration on Freedom Square, Georgian billionaire, Bidzina Ivanishvili made statements concerning future plans and intentions. He also emphasized that the May 27 rally was a serious message for him and for the international community.
“The Coalition Georgian Dream will announce its majoritarian candidates and reveal their names on June 1. Almost all candidates have agreed, there are just 5-10 problematic districts that remain,” the coalition leader stated and mentioned that on June 10, the coalition will form the common plan, which would unite the definite programs in different state fields. "We have written programs on economics, science, and agriculture. I have been familiarized with all programs over the last six-months; if there are some doubtful issues in those programs we will discuss them with the specialists and represent them during the election process.”
Concerning May 27 event, Ivanishvili expressed his gratitude to Georgians for their support and their participation in the demonstration. He reiterated that thousands of Georgians trust to him to make the right decision when it comes to politics, and highlighted that the day was very important for the Europeans and Georgia's biggest ally - the U.S.
“They saw how we are as a culture, that Georgians’ aspiration to freedom is unrelenting, organized and conscious, no power will be able to stop this”.
The billionaire underlined that this aspiration will cover all of Georgia very soon, as the coalition will gather people, inform and listen to them in each region. As for himself, he made those statements despite what decision the government makes concerning his citizenship. "Saakashvili is worried currently whether to sign the constitutional changes (which will enable a European national to participate in the election), or to grant me my citizenship. It has no meaning for me how he would behave. We will lead the process to the end and in autumn Georgia will say good bye to Saakashvili.”
However, through the statements made by the majority representatives, they do not intend to go anywhere at all. Based on MP, Nugzar Tsiklauri, "Ivanishvili will definitely fail as his statements and plans, which are alike of Soviet period, are unacceptable for Georgian society."
The demonstration, where at least 110 000 Tbilisi residents showed up, was an ordinary event for Parliamentary Chair, Davit Bakradze, who explained that freedom of expression is a vital part of a democratic state. "We have seen bigger and smaller manifestations and there is nothing special about this one. Our aim is to solve the problems inside the country, not to be any reason of holding demonstrations.”
Unlike the statements made by the greater part of the opposition, which assessed the coalition’s start as successful, the opposition labour party has made a very critical statement, not only towards the collation. Based on Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of the party, Georgians proved that “they are easily bribed “and as soon as a “sack of money” calls them, they are ready to present any event. Natelasvili also outlined that “dollar was standing on the stage," who has stated nothing essential and who “has driven in Georgians on Freedom square as cattle …”
Analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili has mentioned that the falsification of the elections will be very difficult for the current Georgian leadership, due to the activeness of Georgians. He has also stated that Saakashvili will sign the constitutional changes as such changes were targeted in a different direction more than on Ivanishvili. "I am very much interested in the election list of the government; their list has never been presented without businessmen. However, all businessmen who put their name in the list, seriously damaged their business, as the government practically set a contribution on them,” the analyst stated and mentioned that now the authorities will try to get financing from those Georgians having businesses abroad, as based on the constitutional changes, someone who was born in Georgia, is the citizen of an EU states, is over 21 and permanently lived in the state for 5 years, will be able to take part in the upcoming elections.”
Fellow analyst Paata Zakareishvili thinks that Saakashvili is in full agony and is dragging the state to destruction. He also thinks that the government looks at Ivanishvili as a “powerful opponent."
Economic analyst, Davit Narmania advises the Georgian Dream to make a two-part economic program. "One that is easily understandable for ordinary citizens and the second for the diplomatic corps. The main accents should be made on ensuring a family's social welfare and the development of small and mid-sized businesses etc"
Unlike the above mentioned experts, analyst Mikheil Tavkhelidze considers that the demonstration was not impressive at all and there were not enough people. "Ivanishvili made statements concerning the manifestation for 7 months and he should have assembled more people. As for the content of his speech, I cannot call it an election program, as nothing new and important was in it."