Georgian Opposition Expects Pre-Term Election

Georgia, Tbilisi, 27 November /corr. Trend N.Kirtskhalia / Georgian off-parliamentary opposition intends to demand the resignation Georgian government and to hold pre-term parliamentary and presidential elections. However, in spite of the desire to change the power in the country, the opposition differently approaches the forms and methods of displacing the present power.

If the parliamentary opposition, except the leader of party "Kartuli dasi" ("Georgian group"), does not support conducting the elections in spring of the next year, the off-parliamentary opposition intends to begin the permanent sitting strike starting from  April 9 of 2009, with the demand of resignation of the President and Parliament. However, the demand on fixing date of such elections was already presented to the Presidential Administration by the United Opposition on November 7during demonstration.

The parliamentary opposition considers that firstly it needs to establish a group to devise a new Electoral Code so that the elections of the last year would not take place in the country again. "Without normal and fair Code, which would ensure all equal rights and possibilities, it is impossible to gain victory in Georgia over the present government, which has colossal administrative resources," Giorgi Targamadze, Leader of the influential Christian Democratic Movement, told Trend .

Oppositionists do not yet hold the same opinion concerning form of republic, which they want to see in Georgia - presidential or parliamentary. All of these issues are topics of negotiations between opposition parties, which want to establish any coalition by December 20. At present out-parliamentary opposition has been divided into three major parts, which seek to reach agreement inside their groups. Currently, unification of all opposition is not discussed.

At present there are perspectives to set up three major out-parliamentary opposition coalition by 2009, including republicans and new rights; conservatives, Party of Nation, For Unified Georgia (Irakli Okruashvili's party) and independent leaders Levan Gachechiladze and Georgi Khaindrava; National Forum, Freedom and traditionalists.

"President Saakashvili and his parliament should leave the political arena as soon as possible and it will be better if it takes place in 2008. This gang's being in power ruins the country day by day and pushes it back," Khaindrava, former State Minister in Saakashvili's government, told Trend .

Khaindrava supports idea to announce Georgia a parliamentary republic. "There should not be President in the country and we should put an end to idolatry. Parliament and Cabinet of Ministers should rule over the country," Khaindrava argued.

He said Georgia can nevertheless remain presidential republic. "In this case, rights of President should be reduced at most," Khaindrava said and added that the United Opposition has "a candidate winning presidential election such as Levan Gachechelidze and he can run for presidency once again if there is a wish".

Nino Burjanadze, former speaker of the Georgian parliament, who founded Democratic Movement - United Georgia and former Prime Minister Zurab Nogaideli, who is going to set up his own party, will act as an independent player. Burjanadze has already supported opposition's demands to hold presidential and parliamentary elections in spring of 2009 and announced her claims to the post of head of state.

Georgian experts say Burjanadze will enjoy a great support by West and part of Russian political elite, but support within Georgia will not be great.

Labor Party will also remain non-aligned force who won 7% to 10% votes in various elections and has its own voters.

Leader of the Party Shalva Natelashvili said earlier that his party has always demanded resignation of "illegal President Saakashvili who falsified results of both presidential and parliamentary elections". However, he does not intend to enter blocs with other opposition parties and will struggle for power independently. However, this time Natelashvili refused to speak about future plans.

Some reports have it that Georgian authorities may hold pre-term elections, but not that sooner which opposition demands Rumors say there are already two candidates - ambassador to UN Irakli Alasania and Mayor of Tbilisi Gigi Ugulava. The first is lobbied by a more liberal part of the government while the second will be lobbied by President Saakashvili himself. There are already first positive reports disseminated in US about activities of the Mayor. According to media reports, Saakashvili will follow Russia's example and take post of prime minister by restricting President's rights.

The correspondent can be contacted at - [email protected]

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