The messenger logo

Press Scanner

Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Thursday, December 3
Gali votes will not be decisive in de facto President’s election

Rezonansi writes that the Abkhaz opposition is accusing the Government of falsifying the elections and arguing over the voter lists. According to Georgian analysts however the main talking point is the possibility of the election having a second round. According to Paata Zakareishvili Baghapsh has only 40 percent support at present and therefore there is a chance of this. If Sokhumi’s opposition unite against Baghapsh we could see an interesting process.

“Since Bagapsh tried to change the citizenship law to enable people to vote in the election without holding an 'Abkhazian passport' he has not taken much interest in Gali residents. Other candidates are also not interested in Gali because only about 3,000 in Gali have taken the Abkhazian passport and their votes will not be decisive. At the previous election 20,000 people in Gali supported Baghapsh, but now the voters in Sokhumi and ethnic Armenians will decide the issue," Levan Kiknadze commented at the Experts' Club. He added: "The closer we get to 12 December the more acute the situation becomes. Baghapsh has the best chance, and he is waiting for Russian Vice-Premier Sergey Ivanov to arrive from Moscow. This visit, like the previous one by Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov will be used for Baghapsh's campaign purposes. If Khajimba and Butba combine their forces there will certainly be a second round in which the whole opposition is against Bagapsh and might succeed.”

Why did the Government meet the People’s Party's demands?

Versia reports that on 30 November leader of the People’s Party Koba Davitashvili declared his support for Labour’s idea that Georgian elections should be conducted by the UN and straight away signed the memorandum calling for this. Five days earlier Natelashvili had declared his support for Koba Davitashvili’s protest action, sending party member Paata Jibladze to take part. The protest called for flat rate taxes for small businesses, decreasing the pension age by five years and grading pensions on the basis of work experience, and the Government has agreed to one of these demands.

“Struggling outside Parliament is not comfortable. Being a Member of Parliament and having a high wage, car and private office would be more comfortable but I threw this aside in 2006 when I refused my mandate," stated Koba Davitashvili. Asked whether the public was not surprised at seeing an opposition demand satisfied, Davitashvili answered, "Demands should be chosen carefully and this is the right method. All the demands the People’s Party have made have been met to a limited extent, as in this case. The Government will be forced to make some compromise if pensioners, for example, are clearly behind a demand or they will lose support.

"Political processes must always end with concrete results. This is why I am supporting actions which make particular political and social demands. They give people more courage and also gain us more support.”