|April 11, 2008|
April 11, 2008
“The United Opposition-National Council-New Rights” – this is the union of nine opposition parties: the Conservatives, Georgian Way, Movement for United Georgia, People’s Party, Georgian Dasi (Council), National Forum, We Ourselves, and the New Rights. The second block brought together the party of deceased oligarch Badri Patarkatsishvili “Our Georgia,” Traditionalists, and women’s party of Guguli Maghradze, formerly a majority MP. The third block titled “Rightist alliance – Topadze Industrialists” includes: Industry Will Save Georgia, National-Democratic Party, and Unity led by MP Jumber Patiashvili. Other nine subjects categorically refused to make any unions or take part in the so-called coordination, of which the opposition spoke before, and started an all-out fight for the 175 places up for grabs.
It looks like the opposition, seemingly so united in November, is already dispersed. The fact that the National Council consists of many subjects is nothing as parties it includes are of the same kind, such as parties of Koba Davitashvili, Jondi Baghaturia, Zviad Dzidziguri, and others, the unification of which was dictated by the instinct of survival and not real chances to win in elections. It would be a different matter if the Labor Party and the Republicans joined the alliance as they did in November. Unfortunately or not, this did not transpire. The Republicans closed the door of the National Council. When were they right – when they joined the National Council or when they left it? According to Tina Khidasheli, a leader of the party, they were right in both cases. Their joining the National Council aimed at holding parliamentary elections in spring. The goal is achieved, and their presence in the council lost any sense. Thus, they left the ranks of the United Opposition. Besides, due to big past and important experience of the party, also due to the fact that Republicans have their electorate, the Republican Party will appear with independent lists on elections. Khidasheli stated there was nothing either surprising or doubtful about it. Davit Berdzenishvili, another party leader, explains the Republicans’ reasoning thusly: “Leading competitive political forces will grab more votes from the government separately than put together in a common pot.” The Laborers present their own version of the failure to unite. “We do not share false idea of unity. If we look at the recent history of Georgia, we will see how dangerous such unions are,” Nestan Kirtadze said.
The pre-election rush continues in the ruling party as well. Grand rotation has taken off here. National Movement faces converted to the executive government are coming back to the legislative body. At least, this is the idea. According to information spread in the Georgian press, Saakashvili plans to bring Bakradze, Gvaramia, and Tkeshelashvili back into the Parliament. The same rumor has it that former Minister of Culture and Sports Giorgi Gabashvili will be in the top twenty of proportional list. It is already decided that Giga Bokeria will become Foreign Minister. According to the talks in the corridors, number one of the official national movement is the current speaker of the parliament. However, newspaper Rezonansi writes that top five of the list are named unofficially and along with Nino Burjanadze there are Mikheil Machavariani, Khatuna Gogorishvili, Giorgi Tsereteli, and Zurab Melikishvili.
The relatively new Christian-Democratic Movement, founded by the former Imedi TV anchor Giorgi Targamadze, will take part in elections independently as, according to its leaders, this party already has its electorate. Former reporter of the same TV-channel Giorgi Akhvlediani said they would try to establish themselves in the political spectrum. What the political situation will be on May 22 remains to be seen.
Here is the list of majoritarian candidates presented by the parties by this time:
1. MP Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rightists, block of the nine opposition parties;
1. Archil Gegenava, founder of the “Teliani Valley” Company, National Movement;
1. Tinatin Khidasheli, Republican Party.
1. Rusudan Kervalishvili, founder of the “Center Point” Company, National Movement;
1. Giorgi Goguadze, director of the People’s Bank, National Movement;
1. Dilar Khabuliani, National Movement;
1. Lado Kvaratskhelia, National Movement;
1. Lasha Zhvania, National Movement;
1. MP Giorgi Asanidze, National Movement;
1. MP Merab Samadashvili, National Movement;
1. Dali Pridonashvili, Georgian Way, block of the nine opposition parties.
1. Gia Arsenishvili, National Movement.
1. Ioseb Shatberashvili, Labor Party.
1. Shalva Natelashvili, Labor Party
1. Mindia Arabuli, National Movement.
1. Davit Nadashvili, National Movement.
1. Davit Makhniashvili, National Movement
1. Aziz Suleimanov, National Movement.
1. MP Sophio Lartsuliani, National Movement.
1. MP Kakha Okriashvili, founder of the drugstore network PSP, National Movement.
1. Mikheil Tskitishvili, National Movement.
1. MP Davit Bezhuashvili, brother of the head of the intelligence service and founder of the Georgian Industrial Group holding 45 percent of stocks in TV-companies “Rustavi 2” and “Mze,” National Movement.
1. Giorgi Tatishvili, National Movement
1. Emzar Gelashvili, National Movement.
1. Sergo Kitiashvili, National Movement;
1. Gocha Martinenko, head of the Parliament staff, National Movement.
1. Gogi Chelidze, National Movement;
1. Gocha Enukidze, National Movement;
1. MP Giorgi Gegelashvili, National Movement;
1. Kakha Getsadze, National Movement;
1. Temur Kokhodze, National Movement.
1. Akaki Bobokhidze, Governor of the Imereti District, National Movement.
1. MP Pavle Kublashvili, National Movement
1. MP Bidzina Gujabidze, Conservative Party, block of the nine opposition parties.
1. Manana Dumbadze, Georgian Way, block of the nine opposition parties.
1. Anzor Erkomaishvili, National Movement.
1. MP Victor Japaridze, block of the nine opposition parties.
1. Giga Bukia, Conservative Party, block of the nine opposition parties.
1. Gia Mebonia, National Movement.
1. Pridon Todua, National Movement;
1. Temur Charkviani, founder of the construction company “Tbilisi,” National Movement;
1. Aslan Tavdgiridze, National Movement;
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