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Mixed messages from the Opposition 8

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, June 23
The situation concerning the Opposition 8 is still unclear. One wing of the Opposition 8 states that the authorities' attitude towards their suggestion regarding individual negotiations and suggestions remains obscure. However another wing states that they know that Government representatives have already made their decision and have named the period within which they will respond. At the same time, some opposition factions outwith the 8 have made their own remarks towards both sides.

“I have reliable information that the authorities already have their answers to the opposition 8 suggestions. A lot of things will be clearer in ten days, “leader of Our Georgia- Free Democrats, Irakli Alasania stated in his interview for online media Kvela Siakhle. At the same time the opposition leader underlined that he was sure that the process will be swiftly brought to an end as it is in the interest of opposition 8. Alasania also responded to those opposition representatives’ remarks, which stated that Our Georgia-Free Democrats tried to obtain several mandates through this negotiations, “no one can blame us in fighting for posts, as me and my party members had left very high posts and moved to the opposition, as the situation in the country and the Government’s actions became unacceptable for us.”

When Alasania mentions some concrete period, according to him, the majority representatives present their position and he is sure in his statements. For some other members of the Opposition 8 the authorities' intentions are absolutely obscure, “currently the authorities do not know how theirs and Mikheil Saakashvili’s future will turn out, thus they are in a very hard position. Based on this, it is very difficult to say when they might decide to participate in the process. One thing I know is that the Opposition 8 has a very important opportunity to work on people’s support in parallel with international support, “leader of Conservative Party, Zviad Dzidziguri, said.

A different reading of the situation has been presented by certain parties, which are not members of the opposition 8, however have their opinions regarding the election reform in the country. According to the leader of Parliamentary Georgia Troupe, Jondi Baghaturia, the Opposition 8 suggested a package of changes to the election code to the authorities, which are in the interests of only some of the opposition political parties, “Free Democrats and New Rights came with us, under the name of Opposition 8 and asked for support. We have presented them certain themes , however when we moved on to the formation of election administrations, it turned out that our demands were not in the interests of some opposition groups, “ Baghaturia said and spoke of his party’s suggestions, “we think that during the elections all parties should have an equal opportunity in terms of finances. All parties should be equally broadcasted. In election administrations all parties should have equal representatives and, finally, no parties should be enabled to use budget resources.”

As for the authorities, until now they have not presented any suggestions regarding the new initiatives of the Opposition 8. However, as the majority MP Pavle Kublashvili stated several days ago, the individual negotiations on election reform might be more successful than the former strategy of the Opposition 8.