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If fair elections are held, I will win - Burjanadze says

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 16
Cohabitation should be ended; Georgia should become a subject and not object of the international media; relations with NATO should be equal and in-line with Georgia's national interests; Russia should know that Georgia is not an enemy. These are the main messages delivered by presidential candidate Nino Burjanadze who held a press conference for journalists on October 15.

“Georgia should not be a polygon for rivalry between the most powerful countries. Georgia should be an area where the international and national interests meet,” Burjanadze said, adding that the relations with NATO should not be targeted against the “legitimate interests of the third country.”

“Relations with the European Union should be maximally deepened,” Burjanadze stressed. She also emphasized that normalization of relations with Russia should become intensive and Russia should be ensured that “Georgia is not an enemy country.” Burjanadze highlighted that direct dialogue with the residents of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is essential.

“We should make our brothers sure that they will never be targets of military action. Georgia should be economically and socially attractive for them,” Burjanadze stated.

She stressed that the current government and presidential candidate of the ruling team lacks skills and competence to get rid with the international challenges.

“They are afraid of direct contact and face to face collaboration. There is no strategy concerning relations with Russia. Georgia is consecutive in their actions. As soon as problems emerged on the occupied regions, the Georgian government should have openly stated about it and used all means, including meetings with high-ranking Russian officials to address the situation,” Burjanadze said.

Burjanadze promises that after her coming as a president “justice will be restored.” She explained that all who committed crimes will be punished, reform in the Justice system will be carried out (the formation of the High Council of Justice will be modified, judges will not be appointed for life) and a new constitution will be created by a competent, non-partisan commission.

“Lots of crimes were committed by the members of the UNM, including President Saakasvili and all of them will answer for it… if you present all the documents and evidences to the international community showing all their wrongdoings, no one will accuse us of selective justice,” Burjanadze stated.

The presidential candidate shifted attention on development of self-governance for solving regional problems,” various economic projects should be assisted inside the country and Georgia should not depend only on foreign investments,” Burjanadze said. She promised that all businesses, which were grabbed from the owners by the UNM, would be returned back to their legitimate owners and financial compensations would also be allocated for the affected businessmen.

On the Messenger’s question of what financial levers she would use for economic projects or for the businesspersons? Burjanadze responded that the members of the UNM, which stole millions from the country, will have to bring the money back.”

Burjanadze says that if the election is fair, she will win.

“I have met thousands of people thorough Georgia, they support me,” Burjanadze said.

Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze believes that there are many points in Burjanadze’s election program that will not be in the president’s competence. She thinks that it would be difficult for Burjanadze to fulfill most of her program if she is elected.

Analyst Kakhi Kakhishvili states that Burjanadze’s argumentation in the election program “is more or less achievable.” She shares the presidential candidate’s approach regarding the justice system. However, he thinks that only the president’s power would not be enough for settling the justice and some other issues raised in the election program of Burjanadze.