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Complied by Liana Bezhanishvili
Friday, November 20
Shevardnadze: I know three men who can lead this country

In his interview with Kvela Siakhle ex-President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze has talked about the opposition protest rallies in spring and the reasons they did not bring any result.

“I think that the opposition’s inexperience was the most important factor. These protest actions were not well enough organised and the opposition lacked unity. Their representatives were unanimous on only one issue: they said, and still say, that the Government must resign but the Government is not going anywhere. The Government must feel a force which the opposition does not have yet.

“We must declare that this Government is superior to its opponents in experience and resources. The Army and Police are subordinated to the Government, all the Ministries and structures are in submission the Government. It seems the opposition did not read the situation properly and that is why these protest actions were unsuccessful,” Shevardnadze stated.

“If everything carries on as it is now Saakashvili will be President until his term ends. I think that the opposition’s support must be the people, although they were unable to harness this support. They met people all over the country but could not convince them of their prospects or sincerity. This is the Georgian opposition’s weakness,” Shevardnadze said.

Asked about the two people who could lead Georgia out of its crisis he had mentioned in a previous interview he said, ”Earlier I said two but now there is a third man who could do this and I do not include myself. I would not give these people’s names. I have refused to give them to around 10 journalists and if I give them to you I will make them all my enemies. Then the supply of talented and experienced people in Georgia will run dry!” the ex- President said.

Nani Bregvadze justifies singing in Moscow

Kvela Siakhle writes that in Moscow at the end of October the eightieth birthday of the Russian Trade Industrial Chamber’s representative Evgeni Primakov was celebrated publicly. President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin congratulated him personally and Putin also attended the birthday celebration, to which Nani Bregvadze was also invited.

“Many other Georgians attended this celebration apart from me. I have known Evgeni Primakov since 1957. I have always had very good relations with him and his wife. I have been to their family home often. Evgeni is a very intimate person for me, so I could not be absent on his birthday and there is nothing political about this. I might point out that he was born in Tbilisi and is also a Georgian,” stated Bregvadze.

“I performed a Russian song and then Vladimir Putin made a statement. He was talking about Russian-Georgian relations; I was so nervous that I could not listen to him properly. I took no pleasure in being near Putin although he said many good words about us, saying that he loves Georgians and is disturbed about what has happened. It is very hard to trust him after the August war though.

“After Putin’s statement I performed the song Tbiliso. You cannot imagine what was happening in the hall. At this concert and in the Moscow streets people told me they are ashamed!

“I will go and sing on 22 November for the Georgian organisation in the Republic of Yakutsk as they asked me to. I do not think that they will pay me a big honorary but if they offer I will not refuse it,” Bregvadze said.

Asked whether she was afraid of being criticised by the Georgian Government for having cultural relations with Moscow, like Paata Burchuladze, she answered, “I am not afraid of anything! This is my job, and if I do not come here and do not sing my career and my life will end. I think that such a radically negative attitude is wrong.”