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Government plans large-scaled provocations- opposition and NGOs claim

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, September 21
The Government is preparing for large scaled provocations- opposition coalition Georgian Dream member Sozar Subari, stated on September 20th.

Subari emphasized that the aim of a provocation would be to shift public attention away from the prison rape scandal at Gldani Prison.

According to Subari Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia and his brother bought 20 apartments in several districts of Tbilisi where they have hoarded weapons.

“A credible source has informed journalist Vakho Komakhidze about this. The source has solid evidence that a large scaled provocation is being planned. Of course, we cannot state exactly what the aim of storing weapons is. However, we can infer that provocation is possible.” Subari stated.

Subari repeated that the aim of the Georgian Dream coalition is changing the government through elections, without any post-election unrest.

“We appeal to the international community to carefully observe the ongoing situation in the country and to not exclude the possibility of provocation on the part of the authorities. Our source has video and audio materials showing that the Akhalaia brothers are involved in this issue,” Subari suggested.

Since the scandal concerning torture at Gldani Prison erupted two days ago, Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia has disappeared. “Supposedly he is in Georgia.” – the Ministry Press Service representative told Pirweli online media.

Akhalaia was absent during the President’s meeting with the Cabinet as well as when the Patrol Police took over the penitentiary system on September 19th.

The chair of Elections and Political Technologies Research Centre, Kakha Kakhishvili told The Messenger that “awful, unimaginable provocations” are possible from the authorities.

According to Kakhishvili, since the video footage of torture at Gldani Prison emerged the situation has become unmanageable for the current government.

“This kind of agitation and tension has never existed in a Georgian election campaign before. What is most important is that the protest is not headed by any political force. It is a pure public protest. People have taken the reins in their hands. The UNM knows if the protests continue like this they will lose the elections.” Kakhishvili said.

Kakhishvli stressed that the current government might use two strategies to deflect attention from the recent scandal.

“They might spread some video or audio materials which would reveal the 'villainy’ of opposition members or the authorities might create some international incidents near the Georgian border. The incident could be on a large-scale." Kakhishvili said.

He also emphasized that this kind of incident will be very dangerous for the country. “Unfortunately our authorities do not think of the outcome. What is important for them is to preserve power,” Kakhishvili said and added that some very serious and dangerous event is expected.

“ I don't think that video- audio materials defaming the opposition would be enough… the government knows that public trust in these kinds of videos has diminished … thus, I am sure for the next 24 hours government officials are thinking about how to create a very serious provocation which would distract the public from the prison issue,” Kakhishvili stated.

In response to such accusations the authorities state that they are doing their best in maintaining order in the country in order to ensure free and democratic elections. According to President Saakashvili all those individuals who took part in torture of prisoners will be punished and the penitentiary system will be completely reformed. The President also promises that the elections will be held in a calm, free and democratic environment.

A statement has also been made by the Defense Ministry. The Ministry called for media representatives and other political parties to cease spreading baseless rumors.