|Events in Georgia: they, who sow the field, mow the storm (1)|
2009 05 21
From 9 April Georgia has again been facing mass protests. Their participants require president M.Saakashvili’s resignation. Whereas he is not going to resign, but acknowledges that he might become a victim of the international collusion: according to him, Russia and the United States could come to an agreement regarding Georgia’s future.
The Georgian opposition highlights that demonstrations, which commenced on 9 April, could develop into a non-terminated campaign. On 13 April the decision was made to block the residence of M.Saakashvili and continue pressing until president lays down weapons. About 200 people pitched tents by the residence of the Georgian president for all-night vigils. Protesters released a rabbit with the tie into the compound of the presidential residence reminding the story when president was shot eating his tie during the days of war with Russia.
L.Gachechiladze, one the opposition leaders, threatens that „every street in Tbilisi will become the place of protest campaigns, and hearths of civil disobedience will disperse all over Georgia“.
But events in Georgia would hardly become a new „tie revolution“. Despite the demonstration on 9 April, which was related to the 20th anniversary of events in April 1989, when USSR paratroopers killed 21 people with spades in Sh.Rustaveli Square, people do not demonstrate firm determination on M.Saakashvili’s overturn. According to News Georgia, the sociological survey revealed that only one third of the Georgians believe that protest campaigns would make president resign. The plan of the opposition that protest campaign of 9 April would extend into non-terminated campaigns has not proved out as well. The Georgians might be afraid of a new wave of instability reminding the August of the last year when Russian tanks were roaring close to Tbilisi.
N.Burdzanadze, the former chairperson of the Parliament, is one of the most colorful authors of the current situation in Georgia. This smart and cool-headed politician had a possibility to become Georgia‘s president in 2003, during the „rose revolution“. She acknowledged that then her ratings were especially high, but she gave M.Saakashvili the wall, since „it was necessary to destroy the past, take untraditional actions, be courageous and have the sole of an adventurer“. For some time she supported M.Saakashvili‘s policy, since „it had more positivism than negativism“, but in 2008 she resigned from the post of chairperson of the Parliament and withdrew from active policy. After president started a disastrous war with Russia, N.Burdzanadze returned to politics.
Today N.Burdzanadze is the leader of the opposition party „Democratic Movement – United Georgia“, but she did not manage to redeem her popularity of the „rose revolution“ because of the events in November 2007 when authorities required to use force for the dispersal of demonstration in Tbilisi. Then N.Burdzanadze was the leader of the Parliament.
The portal Georgica.net asked the Georgian president E.Shevardnadze on M.Saakashvili’s resignation. E. Shevardnadze rejected such a possibility and said that „he is not ready for that since tension occurred long time ago“.
In the interview to the magazine Newsweek M.Saakashvili acknowledged that he did not reject a possibility of Russia’s agreement with the United States on Georgia’s future. „For instance, Russia would provide assistance in the U.S., Afghanistan, Central Asia, whereas the U.S. would help Russia to seek its geopolitical interests in this territory and to replace the leader of the country... Earlier I was better evaluated by the American politicians“.
When asked who wants his resignation, the Georgian president said: „These are mostly the unemployed. Because of reforms about 250 thousand people lost their jobs...The struggle against corruption and criminality resulted in the imprisonment of thousands of people. In Tbilisi alone 8 thousand persons were sentenced to prison, thus, today their relatives in the streets require my resignation“, said M.Saakashvili to Newsweek.
Moreover, M.Saakashvili said that the Russian oligarchs support the country‘s opposition. „The Russian ghost“ actually divides the opposition and N.Burdzanadze suffers most of all. Being tired of constant accusations that her party is supported by Russia, and in response to the statement of the Russian foreign minister S.Lavrov that Russia is ready to help the Georgian opposition, she said in public that the Georgian opposition does not need support from outside, since only the Georgian nation is capable of deciding on its future leader.
Who could actually be another Georgian leader? One of the most frequently mentioned persons is I.Alasaniya, a 35 year old leader of the Alliance for Georgia. He was a trustee of the Georgian leader in Abkhazia, represented Georgia to the United Nations in 2006-2008, and is a close friend of Matthew Brise, the U.S. state secretary advisor (responsible for the Caucasus policy).
But the current events in Georgia would hardly be fatal for M.Saakashvili.
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