Alasania will talk to Gachechiladze
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, March 12Leader of the Alliance for Georgia Irakli Alasania said on March 11 that he is ready to meet and hold consultations with Levan Gachechiladze, leader of the Movement Defend Georgia, and underlined the main theme of such a meeting.
Gachechiladze had himself suggested this meeting on March 10. "I intend to meet Irakli Alasania, we have very nice and friendly relations,” Gachechiladze said. Alasania responded by saying "Our door is open for negotiation with all opposition parties and leaders except Zurab Noghaideli, as the Alliance's attitude to this politician has not changed. As for Levan Gachechiladze, it would be very interesting and important to meet with such a powerful political figure.” However the Alliance leader has already excluded negotiating about holding primaries or other issues concerning the common opposition candidate for the Tbilisi Mayoral elections. "The rumours that I might renounce my candidacy for Tbilisi Mayor have no foundation and I have already begun my campaign. Nothing will prevent this, the themes of primaries and opinion polls are already closed for the Alliance. The only thing the opposition can talk about now is proceeding in a coordinated way, meaning that the opposition parties should not disrupt each other’s campaigns,” Alasania suggested. Alasania also called media reports that he had asked Gachechiladze not to stand for Mayor "absurd". "Gachechiladze has not declared himself a candidate for Tbilisi Mayor yet, so no one can ask him to stand down. Everyone has the right to be a candidate for this post. This report is absurd and nothing more,” Alasania said.
"I am not interested in Alasania and the Alliance for Georgia’s plans. They have already chosen their way. As for Gachechiladze, he is the opposition politician with the highest rating and has a real chance of defeating the Government’s candidate, Gigi Ugulava, in the Tbilisi Mayoral elections,” Kakha Kukava, from the Conservative Party, said in response to news of the proposed meeting. Leader of the People’s Party Koba Davitashvili said, "If Gachechiladze wants any kind of collaboration with the Alliance for Georgia to be successful he should just consult the Republicans, as decisions within the Alliance are actually made by them, not Alasania or the other Alliance parties.” This claim was immediately refuted by Alasania, who said that he makes the decisions in collaboration with the Alliance member parties.
The Georgian print media has made some forecasts for the upcoming elections. "No one in Georgia still believes that the opposition can change anything in the near future. Gacechiladze, who still basks in his relative success at the 2008 Presidential elections, is hesitating and cannot decide whether to declare his candidacy for Tbilisi Mayor or not. It seems our Mayor will again be Gigi Ugulava but some trusted sources sate that Rusudan Kervalishvili, currently Deputy Ppeaker of Parliament, will be nominated for City Council Chair. The Government has not yet nominated her, but will soon do so,” Kvela Siakhle reports. The newspaper also suggests, also based on “trusted sources”, that some opposition parties who are angry with Alasania are asking Gachechiladze to stand simply in order to beat Alasania, even if he is not able to defeat Ugulava.
The date of Gachechiladze and Alasania's meeting has not yet been given.