The messenger logo

Press Scanner

Compiled by Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, August 18
Saakashvili-Medvedev meeting possible by end of September

Mteli Kvira reports that on September 23-24 the UN General Assembly’s 64th session will be held. Presidents Saakashvili and Medvedev will both participate and make speeches, and may meet informally although no plans for any such meeting have been announced yet.

Analysts can’t make exact prognosis about whether they will meet given the current situation. “I don’t know if they will meet or not but they will necessarily attack each other in their speeches,” said Ramaz Sakvarelidze. Soso Tsiskarishvili doesn’t exclude that situation may become tense if they meet. Irakli Menagharishvili says that it is very difficult to say anything about this now.

Before the Assembly sittings plenary meetings are scheduled. Any meeting between delegates is agreed beforehand and any possible dialogue is conducted step by step.

I have chosen my way of acting -Irakli Alasania

In an interview with Kviris Palitra Irakli Alasania says: “I sit at the negotiation table to secure the release of our companions and I don’t think this will cause any dissidence in the opposition. I have already chosen my way to make the Government release our arrested colleagues. Those who believe in this way attend the negotiations with me. If someone in the opposition criticises my decision this will not be a reason for me to oppose him in future.

“Next May’s elections will have meaning only if we change the electoral environment, which means the police must be depoliticised and the electoral and legislative systems completely reorganised. Everyone who has political power should be interested in this system and environment change and not who will fill which post,” stated Alasania.

Asked if he would join in further street protest rallies, the leader of the Alliance for Georgia said, “Our party will not participate in street rallies. On April 9 and on May 26 Georgian society confirmed its great wish for change, and we should use the Georgian citizen’s desire to compromise the Government as much as possible, but by means of negotiation, not street rallies,” stated Alasania.

Only Merabishvili and Adeishvili retain their posts

Mteli Kvira reports that Mikheil Saakashvili is preparing a new Government reshuffle. According to reliable sources changes may be made in practically all Ministries except Internal Affairs. Presumably they will take place in September.

The first change is to be made in Defence Ministry. According to an independent source Davit Sikharulidze, the Defence Minister, has already written his resignation. Gela Bezhuashvili, Chairman of the External Intelligence Service, may take over from him but only if Bacho Akhalaia leaves the Defence Ministry. Nika Rurua, the present Minister of Culture, is also presumed to be a possible candidate for this post. Analysts suggest that if Rurua becomes the new Defence Minister Akhalaia will lose his influence in the Ministry.

Changes will occur in the Foreign Ministry as well. According to analysts Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze will leave his post and be replaced by his First Deputy Giga Bokeria. Changes are also possible in the Environment Protection Ministry, where Minister Goga Khachidze will join the diplomatic corps and Lado Vardzelashvili, the President’s Representative in Shida Kartli, is the most likely replacement.

The Ministry of Refugees and Resettlement will also be reorganized. Minister Koba Subeliani, now in the USA, is being accused of inappropriate use of funds granted to help refugees. The Ministries of Economy and Energy are to be united and Davit Tkeshelashvili may lead the new united Ministry. Lasha Zhvania, the current Minister of Economy, may return to diplomatic service.

The Ministry of Health team will also probably be reorganised. Aleksandre Kvitashvili is likely to leave his post with Zaza Gorozia, the President’s Representative in Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, becoming the new Minister. Irakli Giorgobiani, Kvitashvili’s deputy and Saakashvili’s relative, is also a possible candidate. Vano Merabishvili will remain as Interior Minister.

Davit Zurabishvili of the Republican Party says: “It does not matter who the new Ministers will be. For example Giorgi Arveladze, the present Imedi TV Chairman, has no ministerial post but has taken an important role in running the country, just like Kezerashvili (the former Minister of Defence) who works nowhere but has more influence than the Minister of Finance. Figures like these will not be reappointed to high posts but have real power. It has no importance where Khachidze or Vardzelashvili will be moved to as they have no significant influence in making decisions.”