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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Tuesday, March 9
The opposition are incompetent and that is why they are afraid

Kviris Palitra writes that Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Giga Bokeria considers the statements of opposition members and local residents concerning the reopening of the Larsi checkpoint unfounded. He says there is no danger of Georgia losing Kazbegi or being subject to continual provocations. Giga Bokeria says that the opposition are afraid of the checkpoint reopening due to their own incompetence.

Bokeria says that the checkpoint reopening neither increases nor decreases the dangers in Georgia. He affirms that the Larsi checkpoint has been reopened only for trucks and does not understand why opposition keeps going on about danger. "I have not heard a rational argument,” Bokeria stated. He added that the opposition have the right to question anything but their questions should be better.

Levan Gachechiladze may fight independently

Mteli Kvira reports that Irakli Alasania’s political moves have not united the opposition, which is still gripped with uncertainty. One week ago the Alliance said that Levan Gachechiladze would be announcing whether he will stand for Mayor or not but he has not done so and it is possible that he will support neither the Alliance nor another opposition candidate but take part in the elections separately.

Analysts state that Levan Gachechiladze’s support might be decisive for any candidate. It is evident that Levan Gachechiladze is a significant figure in Tbilisi, and Alasania’s steps a week ago have strengthened Levan Gachechiladze’s position. There is also a rumour that Levan Gachechiladze has told Alasania that if he cannot unite the opposition he will announce his own candidature. His public movement Defend Georgia would then become a political party.

“It is absolutely clear that Irakli Alasania is the main candidate of the opposition and Gachechiladze could support his candidature. He must decide whether to take an active part in the election campaign or passively support him, but I think he could have a positive influence either way. I think the best decision would be to support Irakli Alasania. We all supported Gachechiladze when he was the Presidential candidate and worked very hard on his campaign, So I think it would be the right decision morally as well as politically to support Irakli Alasania,” stated David Berdzenishvili says.

“I do not think Levan Gachechiladze will choose to fight independently. This would be unjustified and also impossible, because a party to back him could not be created in so short a time. Gachechiladze also does not have as high a rating as Alasania at present. I think he will take a good rest, analyse everything and then support Irakli Alasania,” added David Berdzenishvili.

Diplomatic relations with Liberia established

Sakartvelos Respublika writes that at the UN in New York the Permanent Representatives of Georgia and Liberia, Alexander Lomaia and Marjon Kamara, have signed a communique on establishing diplomatic and consular relations. The Georgian Foreign Ministry says that the document to this effect signed by both parties has been sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

The communique states that Georgia and Liberia will develop bilateral relations according to UN norms and principles, including respect for territorial integrity and sovereign equality. This is the 8th such agreement Georgia has signed this year. There are191 members of the UN and Georgia has formal diplomatic relations with 131 of them.