The messenger logo

Press Scanner

Compiled by Sopo Datishvili
Tuesday, June 2
The process of separating Church and state hasn’t finished yet

Mteli Kvira has interviewed Davit Berdzenishvili, who referred to recent statements made by Patriarch Ilia II. “For me the statement of the Catholicos-Patriarch was just a statement and I don’t want to comment on it. The Patriarchal statements of May 26 and 28 are totally different from each other but we should discuss them in a single critical context. I cannot say that the Patriarch was the author of either of those statements.

I don’t see any danger of fundamentalism breaking out in Georgia. The statement doesn’t mean that there are any theocratic tendencies in the country. But it shows that the country lacks democracy. In a normal society, the Church should be separate from the Government. The process of separating Church and Government hasn’t finished yet. Their interdependence damages both of them.

“Neither Shevardnadze nor Saakashvili has done anything to make the Church independent. Seemingly the Church is also doing almost nothing to become independent,” Davit Berdzenishvili stated.

Will snap Parliamentary elections calm the situation down?

In an interview with Akhali Taoba Soso Tsintsadze responds to the question of whether it is possible to resolve the present problems by appointing snap Parliamentary elections: “If this process is undertaken in an appropriate way and there are strong guarantees of fairness I support this idea. But elections can’t be held at the moment because the people don’t trust this Commission and election code. Serious changes need to be made in the code and the conditions for holding snap elections should be modified. The election code should be conformed to the principles of justice, not the other way round. If these changes are made, then holding these elections in autumn is absolutely the right step.

“Imagine that the opposition wins the elections. They will receive the majority of seats in the Parliament, and then there will be no point in demanding the President’s resignation. When the opposition seizes the majority of seats, then no matter who is President they will be able to block bills and vote down the budget and thus ruin the peaceful life of the President and the Government. But there are no conditions under which this can happen yet. Specialists should create a suitable environment for fair elections to be held in, and in fair elections the opposition, which has a secure base of popularity, will definitely win,” said Soso Tsintsadze.

Gubaz Sanikidze – The Patriarch was blackmailed by both the opposition and the Government

Kviris Palitra has interviewed one of the leaders of the National Forum, Gubaz Sanikidze, who says: “We should stop naming dates and then basing our plans on these. August 7 is a tragic date. Our motto for that day could be, “August 7, a million Georgians out!” In every street of the country, the people should come out and end the Saakashvili regime. If the people block every municipality, ministry and government building, where can the Government and their supporters go? How long can they hide like rats? Saakashvili doesn’t have enough policemen and special forces to beat a million people.

“When the opposition blocked 7 different places on May 26, we saw that the Government hadn’t the resources to resist them. Why did Saakashvili go to Italy that day? One day he will leave Georgia and not be able to return, as the people will block the airport as well. Saakashvili will never resign, but he will flee the country,” Gubaz Sanikidze says.