‘Authorities will have to make a hard choice’
23 June, 2011
‘Authorities will have to make a hard choice’

When the Georgian Opposition-8 decided to depose the Government via elections, i.e. do something which is unconceivable in Georgian political history, non-aligned opposition used to ask ironically, since when ruling authoritarian elite have resorted to giving up the reins of power through the elections voluntarily. We asked Davit Usupashvili, Chair of the Republican Party to share with us what has he achieved through 10-month long negotiations with the Authorities and whether rumors about the Opposition-8 breakup are true. 

A: Opposition-8 managed

to reconcile differing positions of its constituent parties about elections and involve international community in the process.

Till autumn, the Authorities will have to make a hard choice: they either agree with us about issues related to the elections or reject everything and hence allow grounds for extensive questioning of election legitimacy by the outside world.

Q: Opposition-8 plans to meet people in the regions and conduct explanatory work. However, Irakli Alasania talks of rallies, which is unpopular with the Republicans.

A: This issue about rallies is exaggerated and overly publicized in order to give food for rumors that there is a discord in the Opposition-8. For me, rallies also mean people just meeting each other on streets, both under one ceiling or in the entrance hall of buildings, and printing and spreading information bulletin.

Q: What if a demonstration is held with a demand to the Government to improve election environment?

A: If any public organization, group of citizens or political party decides to demonstrate its position on this specific question, it would certainly be a positive move. In this regard, we allowed full freedom to each other.

Q: The Authorities raised the question of individual negotiations. Some Opposition-8 members said such negotiation would constitute bargaining with the Authorities.

A: The Opposition-8 did not give a mandate to any person or organization on arranging agreements with the Authorities on behalf of others. The mandate that we gave to each other is a delivery of any message from the Authorities to the whole Opposition-8 to decide on further joint response.

Q: Gubaz Sanikidze, leader of Popular Forum said that he would support a start of civic movement.

A: It was the Opposition-8, not Gubaz Sanikidze, who announced it during the meeting with public on 7 June. We do not call on people to come out and support the Opposition-8. We offer them collaboration within civic movement.

Q: In doing so, would the Opposition-8 not resemble the Popular Council?

A: Why shall we keep away from engaging people, even if the Popular Council tried to do it offhandedly?

Q: How do you explain the legislative changes?

A: The law on Demonstrations and Manifestations practically prohibits manifestations. It’s a scared Government. They intensify repressions.

Q: Do you link it to the entry of the revenue office into Media Palitra?

A: Your Media Holding frustrated the Authorities. They seemed to have prepared to attack. What they did on 7 June however is directly linked to the Opposition-8 initiative. The checkup of Media Palitra is a result of its work for all the recent years. Print publications of this media house, radio and Internet TV gained authority in the Georgian population. I would accentuate unprecedented events happening along the way, for example, the position of the American Embassy expressed at two visits to the Media Palitra which was undergoing the checkup by the revenue office.

The Media Palitra did not believe the scandalous explanation of the Authorities that it was computer that randomly gave the list of six businesses for a checkup operation, of which all the six turned out to belong to the Media House. I cannot remember a single fact when the international community reacted with such a sharp, instant and telling feedback.

Hence, at the front where we fight for democracy one more wave of offensive has set in. This is the fight of the Authorities against independent media. We all have to defend it.

Other Stories
Travel between Ukraine and Georgia for both countries’ citizens to be allowed only by electronic ID cards
The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze has announced that the citizens of Georgia and Ukraine will be able to travel in and out of both countries using only electronic ID cards.
Why does the Georgians love John McCain?
John McCain, Senator, and former Presidential candidate of the USA died on the 25th of August, 2018. He was diagnosed with lioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer last year.
The IBSU Conundrum
Teachers, students and students-to-be all took to the streets when the news broke that the International Black Sea University, one of the most highly regarded universities in the country, wouldn’t be admitting new students into its ranks this year.
Angela Merkel arrives in Georgia
German chancellor Angela Merkel has already arrived in Georgia.
German media about possible reasons for  Merkel’s visit to Georgia
As German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Tbilisi today, expectations are high and both the Georgian and German media are speculating about the possible results of the visit.
Angela Merkel to visit Georgia on August 23
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Georgia on the 23rd of August. Her plan is to visit the Caucasus states of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Georgian presidential candidate to Journalists –“Shake your brain!”
“Journalists should shake their brains” – said Georgian presidential candidate, Salome Zurabishvili to journalists.
What does Giorgi Margvelashvili own?
The presidential election will be held on 28th of October, 2018 in Georgia. The President Giorgi Margvelashvili has not yet confirmed his participation in the election.
"Father returned for mother ... then the bomb landed …”
10 years on, this is a different August. But this month is a time of remembrance and of hard memories and hurt.
The World talks about the 2008 war
On the tenth anniversary of the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia, 20% of Georgia continues to be occupied by Russian military forces who also seem intent of further encroachment on Georgian territory.
Georgia hosts high ranking guests for the 10th anniversary of the 2008 war
Ten years have passed since the Russian military intervention in Georgia,in August, 2008.
 10 Years Anniversary of the EU Monitoring Mission in Georgia – “Mission supports stability and security on the ground”
10 years have now passed since the August 2008 war between Georgia and Russia and still we face a huge daily threat. Certain parts of Georgia continue to be occupied even today.
Heroin seized near Georgia-Azerbaijan State Border
Border Police from the Georgian Ministry of Internal Affairs have arrested a 28 year old individual.
After ten years from the 2008 war, borderization continues
It is ten years since the 2008 August war between Russia and Georgia.
Multinational Noble Partner training 2018 has launched
The multinational Noble Partner training 2018 commenced on the 1st of August.
National Democratic Institute publishes the latest survey
Poll results released today by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and CRRC Georgia show growing dissatisfaction about the state of the country’s economy, environment, and political climate going into the presidential election.
Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze needs 5 more Regional Governors
At a recent Government press conference Mamuka Bakhtadze, the Prime Minister of Georgia, announced that new Governors for the following regions are required:
German government plans to recognize Georgia among safe countries
The German government will shortly approve a law, which enables the countries such as Georgia, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria to be recognized as safe countries
Latvian MEP Andrejs Mamikins about Georgia’s prospects for EU membership
Georgia is a country that wants to become member of the EU, but how does it look from Brussels?
Military equipment and techniques created by Georgians
Delta is a Military, Scientific and Technical Provider.
What does Georgia contribute to the NATO alliance?
The idea that Georgia should join the NATO alliance was first suggested back in the 1990s. However nobody believed it would become a reality
Most liked and disliked ministers of Georgia
Mamuka bakhtadze, the Prime Minister of Georgia has announced structural changes in the government as a part of his plan to cut down on governmental spending.
Mamuka Bakhtadze officially submitted as a candidate for PM by the President of Georgia
President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili has submitted Mamuka Bakhtadze as a candidate for Prime Minister.
Russia conducts military exercises in Georgia's occupied Tskhinvali Region
The sub-units of the 4th base of the Ministry of Defense of Russia are conducting military exercises in occupied Tskhinvali (so-called South Ossetia).
Candidate for PM’s position Mamuka Bakhtadze vows Georgia to become united, European country
Former Finance Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze has been named as a candidate for the Prime Minister’s post, which became vacant after Giorgi Kvirikashvili's resignation.
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange