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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Tuesday, June 29
Irakli Alasania: The USA will help Georgia reform the election environment

Irakli Alasania, leader of the Free Democrats, is holding meetings in the USA, Kviris Palitra writes. He has met some White House officials and US Security Council representatives.

“Mainly, we discussed current events in Georgia. We assessed the post-election period and agreed on one thing: that this election was far from being conducted according to democratic standards, which is why the period until 2012 should be used to improve the election environment as far as possible." According to US officials America is preparing to offer great assistance to Georgia to help it improve and change its election system.

Asked why he had therefore said straight after the elections that they had been a step forward for democracy, Alasania said that it was a step forward for political parties to move away from street campaigning and start fighting elections. “This was a step forward, however the elections themselves were far from democratic,” he said, adding that fundamental changes in this field are crucial in order to prevent the ruling party having an opportunity to use administrative resources in its campaign to such an extent.

Irakli Okruashvili: This year will be decisive

Ex-Defence Minister Irakli Okruashvili states in an interview with Kviris Palitra, "The meeting in Munich was initiated by me. When Zurab Noghaideli and I met, we released a joint statement about the necessity of broad opposition unity and telling the people what we would do if we could replace this Government. I proposed a simple topic for the Munich meeting, namely, whether our goal is actually to remove the present regime or just make a noise like many other opposition parties. Should we acknowledge our mistakes and try not to repeat them? Do we agree that none of us can defeat the present regime on our own? What do we need to have to defeat the present regime?

"I shared my views on these issues with the rest. We have seen that uniting around nothing is ineffective. The Alliance was the perfect example of this. If we agree on certain issues we shall naturally pave our way to unity. Step by step we will create a situation which will either lead us to victory or consign us to history," Okruashvili says.

‘I will take part in every assembly which will not disappoint people. A people’s assembly was held at Dynamo Stadium last year and we saw how it ended. I personally offered Nino Burjanadze the opportunity to take part in the Munich meeting, as I thought we could speak about the format of such meetings and their possible outcomes. I hope Nino will attend the next meeting, as we are not setting up any alliance. We do not have enough strength to defeat the regime separately. We must use all our resources in the final battle," Okruashvili continues.

"It will not be easy to overcome the disappointment of the people. If anyone dreams that 100,000 people will come out into the streets like on May 6 2009, they are mistaken. Saakashvili’s regime endures due to the weakness of the opposition, its lack of leaders and the lack of ability of those leaders it has. The correct plan, a disciplined fight and sincere relations between the parties will change the present regime.

"The time has come to take effective steps. The opposition have been in an ostrich position for three years, but we will do our best to bring this Government to an end, we will keep our promise, we will not disappoint you," Okruashvili adds.

"The Government claim that the local elections were calm is a mockery of the people. The Government fought a virtual opposition at the elections and received a virtual 65% of the vote. The virtual opposition will soon launch a virtual battle for the improvement of the so-called electoral environment. If we do not take effective steps, Saakashvili will preserve his power for 30 more years. This year will be decisive," Irakli Okruashvili says.