Jemal GogitidzeCandidate for the Parliamentary Chairmanship
Formerly the leader of the parliamentary opposition, member and a nominee of the “Revival Union.”
“ ‘Revival’ is simply too big not to have own political ambition. Thus I was nominated by the block as a candidate to chairmanship” – says Gogitidze, referring to his nomination by the “Revival Union.” “Probably all candidates have equal chances. But I can assure you, that being a chairman of the Parliament in such difficult times is not a pleasant task indeed,” Gogitidze remarks.
In his interview to “Civil Georgia”, Gogitidze confirmed that he had consultations with almost all Parliamentary forces, however he added with sense of dissatisfaction that “often they promise one thing, but act totally different.”
He is concerned with ‘behavior’ of the “Citizens Union” faction: “Nomination of [Nino] Burjanadze without prior agreement with others can be regarded as a beginning of serious confrontation. We have been acting differently. We made it clear from the very beginning that we would hold consultations with everyone.” Gogitidze agrees that the elections are likely to go into a runoff and believes that he would also participate in the second round.
The candidate does not confirm the rumors of President Shevardnadze and the Leader of Adjara Autonomous Republic Aslan Abashidze agreeing on their ‘joint’ candidature to the post of the chairman. “If there was such a candidate, then I would not have been nominated” – says Gogitidze.
In case of winning the elections, Gogitidze plans to adjust country’s foreign and internal policies. “We are absolutely radical in every direction. Changes should be made with regards of Russia, as well as with other countries. Policy may not be implemented at the expense of any other country on at orders of any other country. Georgia is a small country and interests of each neighbor, close and remote should be taken into account”.
Leader of former Minority believes that “the autonomous republic [of Adjara] should be able to participate in governance more actively than before. This should set an example for future relations between Abkhazia and the central government”. Gogitidze thinks that such an approach will lead us to restoration of the territorial integrity of the country.
While referring to Shevardnadze’s proposal to Aslan Abashidze for becoming the prime minister, Gogitidze says: “We have always been supporting idea of the cabinet of the ministers and we are ready to see any person in the rank of prime minister. It is up to Abashidze personally to decide. However, this is connected with major problems. Even if Abashidze agrees, I don’t think he would have any personal gains, save the plenty of serious problems that he would have to solve.”
Gogitidze thinks that it is early to say now which candidate would “Revival Union” support if Gogitidze fails to qualify for the runoffs.