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Opposition at the Crossroads

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, April 18
If the authorities decide to detain me, this step will be too expensive for them – leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia, former Parliament Speaker, Nino Burjanadze stated on April 15, in response to information spread in the Georgian media that the Government plans her detention in May.

“Neither me, nor my husband are committing such things which can be regarded as violation of law. We are true against Georgian people. If the authorities detain and try to imprison me, it would cost too much for them,” Burjanadze, said.

Press service of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, has tried to explain the reason why Burjanadze’s arrest might be in the authorities’ interests, “Democratic Movement and the Representative Public Assembly are the greatest force against the current regime. The Government is trying to shift society’s attention to new lies and scandals to make obstacles for our activities, however, they will not be able to achieve this goal. On May 2, we will declare our action plan and will fight to the end with Georgian people.”

Another direction of the radical opposition, one of the leaders of Georgian party, Levan Gachechiladze is ready to collaborate with the Representative Public Assembly and oppositional 8 working on election environment improvement due to several reasons and based on certain preconditions, ““By collaborating with the Representative Public Assembly, a serious political force could be created, as many people will be gathered against the current Government, as fewer people will be damaged by the street rallies,” Gachechiladze, said. Based on the current reality it is difficult to say whether this coalition can be created or not based on definite reasons. Burjanadze, who is one of the most active members of the Representative Public Assembly seems not to be in good relations with former defense Minister and currently one of the leaders of Georgian Party, Irakli Okruashvili. As the former Defense Minister has stated recently, Burjanadze’s revolutionary intentions will be useless. In response to Okruashvili’s statements, Burjanadze stated that, “if I were a man, I would have been ashamed in his place for such statements, “she has also rejected information that she suggested a meeting to Okruashvili.

As for the Georgian Party’s precondition to oppositional 8, “oppositional 8 should name the date when they give up negotiations with the authorities, “ Gachechiladze, said. Which is also doubtful, as the representatives of oppositional 8 have already mentioned several times that they do not intend to stop the process, as this would be profitable only for the Government.

The Government has a clear attitude towards revolutionary opposition forces in the country and based on that no escalation is possible in Georgia; however their position towards oppositional 8 still remains unclear. Based on analyst Tornike Sharashenidze, “it is natural that the authorities do not want to concede a lot of things and this is natural, all political forces would behave like this. I think, finally the government and opposition will achieve consensus on the issue. It greatly depends on the opposition what the Government will concede, if the authorities see that those oppositional members have a real desire for the country’s peaceful development, they might concede. In my opinion, the Government is looking for such forces in the opposition, which will agree that the changes in the country be carried out step by step.” However, it is also hard to say when the authorities will manage to find such forces within the opposition.