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Compiled by Liana Bezhanishvili
Tuesday, January 12
Sozar Subari: falsifying the elections will have serious consequences

In an interview with Mteli Kvira leading figure in the Alliance for Georgia Sozar Subari has stated: “We are holding broad consultations, not only with Defend Georgia and Levan Gachechiladze but more widely. We are also consulting the parties which are not taking part in the elections but feel it is very important that the Government is changed. It is difficult to talk about what has been achieved because these talks are still going on and I cannot say anything yet. If any parties consider that there is no point taking part in the elections this is their decision.

"Today different public opinion polls give the Government a high rating but I do not trust this as it is the product of public disappointment in the opposition's failures so far. But this disappointment could dissolve very fast as it has many times before. I will tell you one simple thing: if the public again trust that the struggle has some purpose what happened last 26 May will be repeated.

"Mikheil Saakashvili had only a 20 percent public confidence rating in April-May last year and this was disastrous for him. The sentiments of the people are not changed, it is purely because of disappointment with the opposition that they are expressing confidence in the President of Georgia,” stated Sozar Subari.

“The Government's PR people work very well and hard round the clock. But the situation can change in one day. Generally there are only three people in the country with positive ratings, Mikheil Saakashvili and two of the leaders of the Alliance. I do not like to talk about such things but in this case I am talking about public opinion polls not my own opinion.

“Ugulava has a rating of about the 30 percent, greater or smaller in different polls. This is despite the fact he has been featured in more than 200 news items. So 70 percent hate him, he has not gained the elementary confidence level despite the fact that he is working 24 hours a day. We in the Alliance think that we really can win, but more unity in the opposition is necessary,” added Sozar Subari.

Asked whether he would accept the result if the Government declared that Ugulava had won the local elections, Subari said, "If this happens because the elections have been falsified we will use all means to ensure that the people's will is respected. The falsification of the elections will have serious consequences. I do not exclude anything.”

Confusion over Moscow Patriarch's visit

"The Patriarchate of Georgia has not confirmed Patriarch Kyril’s visit to Georgia yet. I do not believe that the positions of the two Patriarchs can play a decisive role in the normalisation of Russian-Georgian relations. We do not live in an era of religious fundamentalism, in which political leaders and institutions have less power than religious leaders. Fortunately, Georgia resembles a civilized state in which political decisions are made by public figures, not the clergy,” Professor of Sociology Iago Kachkachishvili states in an interview with Kviris Palitra.

"However, we should take into account that the respective Churches and Patriarchs have an unparalleled moral authority in Russia and Georgia. It would be wrong not to make us of this. Healthy relations between the spiritual leaders of two conflicting states are part of public diplomacy, although people often have inflated expectations of such relations and see them as a panacea,” Iago Kachkachishvili says.

"Missionary activities can never replace public policy in democratic societies and that is right. Georgia's public policy towards the conflict regions (Abkhazia and South Ossetia) is weak and relations with Russia are worsening. We should seek to correct public policy rather than replace it with ecclesiastical policy,” Kachkachishvili added.