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Compiled by Londa Mindiashvili
Friday, June 26
Terry Davis: the President of Georgia should be elected by Georgian people and not by Moscow

Akhali Taoba reports that Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, has said at a briefing in Strasbourg that the Georgian people should decide for themselves who should be their President.

“I often hear that Russia wants to see a new Government in Georgia. It is not its business to decide who will be the President of Georgia. Washington once had the same wish concerning Cuba, but then they adapted to the reality,” stated Terry Davis.

Terry Davis talked about the ongoing political situation in Georgia and said that the opposition has a legitimate right to demand the resignation of the President and Saakashvili also has the right to take the decision on this. “I was in opposition in Britain and I demanded the resignation of the Prime Minister of Britain many times. However, he had the right to decide for himself whether to resign or not and he never complied with my demand,” added Terry Davis.

Davis said that he knows the Georgian authorities have offered to conduct dialogue with the opposition, and that some opposition leaders have accepted this offer whilst others, among them Nino Burjanadze, the ex-Speaker of Parliament, have not. In Davis’s opinion, refusing to take part in dialogue is incorrect. “The best way to resolve this situation is dialogue between the Government and the opposition. All issues should be resolved at the negotiating table. The resignation of Saakashvili depends on many things,” said Davis.

The opposition cannot agree on their strategy

Rezonansi writes that talk about a common strategy for the opposition has being going on for a long time. The opposition parties are discussing their future relations, but have still not decided whether to continue simply co-ordinating their activities or establish a joint movement. The idea of merging into one body has many opponents, because one party would mean one leader, and no one can decide who this should be or guarantee the rest will accept that person.

When the next major rallies will be is also a matter of dispute. The National Forum wants to hold a grandiose protest action on August 7, the first anniversary of the Russian-Georgian war, but the others feel there is not enough time to organise this. So the National Forum is appealing to all the other parties to campaign in the regions. Some of the opposition want the rallies to continue until next spring, but others want them to end quickly.

The opposition has stopped blocking off the President’s residence. The activists who were protesting at the residence have said that Government repression was the main cause of their leaving. Eka Beselia has said these protestors will return.

Soso Tsintsadze: America will not cede Georgia and Ukraine

Akhali Taoba reports that Georgian expert Soso Tsintsadze has said: “The dream of the Kremlin is the complete occupation of Georgia. But giving the exact dates it will try this and saying this may happen at the beginning of July is unrealistic in my opinion. Someone may say that the authorities of Russia are unpredictable and could do anything but even madness has its boundaries. So I do not think Andrei Ilarionov’s scenario will be played out. We do not forget that after the Obama-Medvedev meeting on July 7 Joseph Biden will visit Georgia and Ukraine. So logically the Russians will not dare attack Georgia at that time.

“The main advisors of President Obama are Hillary Clinton, Robert Gates and Biden, who do not want Obama to concede anything during the negotiations in Russia. This is in the interests of America, because ceding Georgia to Russia would automatically mean losing all the Caucasus and world transit routes. There is an economic crisis in the world, and Russia also has a lot of problems as half its stabilization fund has been spent,” Tsintsadze said.