Presidency should be abolished in Georgia - opposition

Georgia Materials 3 October 2007 23:27

( RIA Novosti ) - Representatives of Georgia's united opposition gathered Wednesday in the Chess Palace in downtown Tbilisi to discuss the possible abolishment of the presidency in the country.

The opposition said it advocates an amendment of Georgia's Constitution and the abolition of the presidency as "all Georgia's troubles are caused by politicians' desire to occupy this post." It also urged parliamentary elections in the spring 2008, and said it would like to secure the support of the Georgian intelligentsia.

"We are starting our work with a meeting with our intelligentsia, that our president does not like," Konstantin Guntsadze, a member of the For United Georgia movement, told journalists.

The movement is led by former defense minister Irakly Okruashvili, who was detained last week and charged with blackmail, money laundering, abuse of office, and professional negligence shortly after he announced the creation of For United Georgia and criticized Mikheil Saakashvili's policies. A Georgian court recently extended his custody by two months.

Okruashvili, a former ally of Saakashvili, on September 25 accused the Georgian leader of corruption and attempting to kill businessman Badri Patarkatsishvili. He also alleged Georgian authorities had covertly planned to seize control of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia in 2006 and to split the Georgian Orthodox Church.