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Compiled by Keti Baramidze
Thursday, April 15
Opposition will protest against political prisoners

Akhali Taoba reports that NGOs and political parties are asking international organisations and to take more interest in the issue of Georgian political prisoners. In one such appeal, made on Tuesday, all the opposition parties expressed solidarity with political prisoners.

At the meeting it was emphasised that on April 16 the court in Kutaisi will hear the case of Eka Beselia’s son and brother and deliver a verdict. NGOs regard the case against these individuals as “political retaliation”.

"It’s beyond reason that the Government should take such drastic measures against its political opponents. Let us recall the illegal decisions of the Batumi court," analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili told the newspaper. Nino Burjanadze from the Democratic Movement-United Georgia said, "We must continue the fight in a country where the Interior Minister makes such disgraceful statements as he has and says that he is above the law. I can’t say I am signing this document with pleasure but I’m doing it with pride." Koba Davitashvili of the People's Party declared: "The National Council (of which the People's Party is a part) completely supports the demonstration against political prisoners which will be held on April 16. I’m delighted that we will finally consolidate the opposition through this protest."

Will Levan Gachechiladze be Okruashvili’s party's candidate for Mayor?

Akhali Taoba writes that the number of Mayoral candidates may increase as Levan Gachechiladze may also stand. Unofficial information suggests that Irakli Okruashvili’s party will take part in the elections and Gachechiladze will be its Mayoral candidate. Gachechiladze is making no comments on this matter but hasn't ruled out the possibility of him putting forward his candidature.

Former Okruashvili ally Eka Beselia says that as this information hasn't been confirmed by either side she finds it difficult to discuss it. “For me personally it was rather a surprise to hear that the party has registered for the elections. When I was in this party it had a position of not participating in the local elections. Unless the opposition consolidates it will find it extremely difficult to win these elections. We should use all our resources to oppose the present Government.”

The Government wants Noghaideli to be its main challenger

"The Government wants to label certain people inside and outside the country as enemies. It wanted to 'Noghaidelise' the opposition but failed because only a part of the opposition accepted Noghaideli. The situation in the opposition as a whole has not changed. Every action of Noghaideli will be met as it was in Gori, in Zugdidi and Batumi and the Tbiliselebi printing house - with protest," Republican David Berdzenishvili states in an interview with Akhali Taoba.

"It suits the Government to have the weak Noghaideli as the alternative to itself. The Government is saying to the Georgian people, America and Europe: We are not good but a Noghaideli influenced by Russia is even worse. Noghaideli is not dangerous for the Government. Making Giorgadze out to be the enemy was profitable for Shevardnadze for he was not a real danger to him: making Noghaideli the enemy is similarly profitable for Saakashvili. This situation suits Noghaideli as well, as for he has problems in terms of legitimacy within the opposition. We do not regard Noghaideli as being a member of the opposition," Berdzenishvili says.