|Opposition takes summer time out|
|June 20, 2008|
June 20, 2008
Still boycotting their parliamentary duties, the United Opposition has decided to establish their own political center.
The center is expected to become operational in September and will be open for other opposition parties with the notable exception of those who participated in the parliament.
Until the center opens, the opposition decided to take time out to work on their future plans. David Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights party, said that the summer is a traditionally calm period for political activity and the opposition will use this time to develop tactics and strategies, and prepare for the next round of political battle.
However, the alliance and the unity of the opposition parties has been shattered recently. Shortly after the elections, the leader of the party We Ourselves quit the National Council. Independent candidates Gia Tortladze and Gia Tsagareishvili followed him and will likely be among those who preferred not to give up their parliamentary seats. One more candidate from the opposition bloc, Dmitry Lortkipanidze, has also left the opposition coalition.
Leader of the opposition party Kartuli Dasi, Gondi Baghaturia, repeatedly claimed that he does not want to clash with the opposition, but according to spokesperson of the United Opposition the National Council has already declared that those candidates who failed to renounce their mandates will be out of the alliance.
The next was expected to be Tavisupleba party leader Konstantine Gamsakhurdia. His actions raised concerns that he would quit the National Council, however he decided to also give up his seat in the parliament.
On June 17, however, Gamsakhurdia came before the meeting of the United Opposition with his own proposals. He told TV company Mze that the future depends on the memorandum which he presented to the opposition.
“Whether or not I would stay in the National Council of the United Opposition depends on how seriously these issues will be considered and how the actual talks will progress,” said Gamsakhurdia.
The memorandum covers the issues of decision making and organization of the newly proposed opposition center. Gamsakhurdia thinks that after the parliamentary elections the National Council lost its purpose, therefore it is not rational to maintain the same format of the National Council. Gamsakhurdia proposed transforming of the National Council into a discussion council that will set up the main acting strategy and tactics and be open for the all opposition spectrum despite the attitude towards them of the National Council members.
According to him the decisions should be taken through consensus and the Council should not be based in the office of one political organization. He also demanded the abolishment of the three member council of the United Opposition.
Raising the issue of political prisoners in his memorandum, Gamsakhurdia said that the opposition should consider as political prisoners not only as those who support NATO or EU integration. He also requested debate on issue of the appearance Shevardnadze and “Shevardnadzism” on trial.
“It is a justice and moral meaning for the society and has nothing in common with revenge of getting even with somebody,” reads the memorandum demanding an inquiry into the overthrow of the legal government at the beginning of 1992.
“Not only 5 January and 21 May of 2008 elections should be declared illegitimate but the whole elections been held since coup d’etat of 1992 and all authorities come to power by force,” reads the statement.
Gamsakhurdia left the office where the opposition held the consultations over the political center after he handed over the memorandum.
The members of the opposition said they agree with many issues outlined by Gamsakhurdia but the final response will not be known until after consultations.
Eka Beselia one of the leaders of the United Opposition told InterpressNews agency after the session of the United Opposition that the opposition remains united and is now moving to a new stage of the struggle.
“The decision about establishing a political center is made,” she said. “The consultations will continue in summer and by September we will start the new type of battle. We are currently working on our strategy, goals, and new format.”
Some of the opposition parties have already expressed their willingness to cooperate with the United Opposition and take part in the work of the political center.
The Republican Party said earlier that his party is ready to cooperate with the United Opposition’s discussions if it will not turn out to be a kind of “alternative parliament”, as several opposition leaders suggested earlier.
Soso Shatberashvili of the Labor Party told Rustavi2 that the party will cooperate with the United Opposition but only after the former and current members of the United Opposition cease their offenses and accusations.
“First they were establishing so called alternative parliament, now political center,” he said. “We called upon them to regroup and find a common ground and only after that come to us and explain to us what they want.”
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