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Christian Democrats propose 7-point plan to “discharge” the crisis

By Mzia Kupunia
Wednesday, April 15
As the radical opposition continue to hold their rallies, making what they call “the only demand,” President Saakashvili’s resignation, the Parliamentary opposition has presented a new package of initiatives to the Government and non-Parliamentary opposition. Christian Democratic Party leader Giorgi Targamadze said at a special press conference on Tuesday that in order to “discharge” the political crisis in Georgia it is necessary to take “several steps.”

Targamadze suggested that “in order to create trust between the two sides and start a dialogue,” the Chairs of the Supreme Court and Central Election Commission should resign, the Imedi TV company should be returned to “its legal owners,” a satellite broadcasting license should be given to Maestro TV, the board of the Georgian Public Broadcaster should resign, a group of independent experts should be created which will monitor the broadcasting of Georgian TV channels and a law enforcement agencies monitoring group should also be set up in order to examine accusations against the police made during the protest rallies.

The radical opposition has already assessed the Christian Democrat initiative as “politically incorrect” and “inadequate.” According to Mamuka Katsitadze from the Alliance for Georgia “there is nothing said in Targamadze’s initiative about the opposition’s main demand, holding snap elections.” Katsitadze said that Targamadze’s proposal would be relevant at the second stage of their actions. “The main issue is snap Presidential and Parliamentary elections,” Katsitadze noted.

The leader of the Way of Georgia, Salome Zourabichvili, said Targamadze’s initiatives “have no sense behind them.” According to Zourabichvili, the main issue is what the opposition’s initiatives are, not those voiced by Christian Democrats, as “Targamadze is one of the representatives of the Government.” Zviad Dzidziguri from the Conservative Party said the initiative of the Christian Democrats is good, but can’t be proposed as an alternative to the main demand of the non-Parliamentary opposition.

The Christian Democrat initiative does not require any discussion, leader of the Republican Party David Usupashvili said. He stated that the issues raised by Targamadze had been voiced by the opposition a long time ago. “It will be good if these issues are resolved before Saakashvili’s resignation, but they will be after his resignation anyway,” Usupashvili said.

Meanwhile the Georgian authorities have expressed a readiness to start dialogue on the issues named by the Christian Democrats. “Society is aware of all the proposals made by the ruling team. Dialogue has no alternative. The sooner the opposition forces come to the conclusion that they should exchange ultimatum for dialogue the sooner the process of drawing up positions will start,” MP Zurab Melikishvili said.

According to State Minister for Reintegration Temur Iakobashvili the Christian Democrats’ proposal might become a basis for “discharging the situation,” however he said that these proposals have not been agreed with the opposition and do not represent their demands. “Any initiative should be agreed. The Government is ready to start a dialogue and this dialogue will take place, but the issue is when the dialogue will start – if the situation becomes tense or afterwards,” Iakobashvili stated.

Some analysts agree that the opposition will never accept the Christian Democrats’ proposal. Political commentator Ramaz Sakvarelidze said the proposal is “inadequate”. “Most of the points of Targamadze’s initiative had been raised by the opposition previously and were not addressed, therefore I think that discussing these issues will not silence the opposition,” Sakvarelidze noted.