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After Clinton statement

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, April 21
The debates between the ruling party and the opposition concerning western attitudes toward Georgian elections took a new spin after the US State Secretary Hilary Clinton made a statement on the issue. This statement is interpreted differently by the opposition and the ruling power. This gives ground to assume that the current ruling authorities do not have any intentions to give up its power whereas the opposition welcomes the west exercising pressure on Georgian leadership so that it holds transparent, democratic and fair elections.

During the meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers and the Georgian Foreign Minister in Berlin, together with highlighting Georgia’s achievements in different fields Clinton stressed upon the fact that President Saakashvili of Georgia should secure the democratic development of the country.

Georgia's western oriented opposition hailed the statement as good progress. The leader of Free Democrats Irakli Alasania said that Georgia’s partners had stopped whispering into the ear and made open statements to current leadership. He also expressed hope that consolidation of the citizens and international community will facilitate the change of election code and help them to defeat the ruling power.

As it is known, the negotiations conducted between 8 opposition parties and the ruling authorities on the elections code were in deadlock. This was a serious setback for the part of the opposition which believed that it was possible to hold democratic elections through introducing appropriate amendments into the elections code. These parties understood Clinton’s above mentioned statement to be supportive of their position. One of the representatives of the opposition eight, Zviad Dzidziguri, thinks that this is a process which would enable Georgia to change the ruling power through free elections. The opposition representative, one of the leaders of the Georgian Party Erosi Kitsmarishvili, also welcomes the statement of Clinton saying that the current administration will try to waste time and that Georgia needs to completely change the election environment. On the other hand Kitsmarishvili also added that people should not get their hopes up too high. Kitsmarishvili also criticized Georgia’s western allies for trusting the Saakashvili administration. According to Kitsmarishvili, the current administration in Georgia is of dual character. It talks according to the terminology acceptable for westerners but conducts itself as eastern despots.

The ruling authorities also reacted to Clinton’s statement saying that there was nothing extraordinary in it. They stated that they are going to conduct forthcoming elections as democratically as they conducted the previous elections which were welcomed by the western community. All the international organizations mentioned in their report that local elections of 2010 were a step forward and in compliance with democratic standards, mentioned MP Pavle Kublashvili.

So one can predict that in the near future the negotiations concerning elections code amendments will be resumed and the ruling power will try to make some minimal concessions thereby guaranteeing its victory. However the opposition will be trying to yield as much as possible from Clinton's statement to achieve the changes they desire.