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Keep Distance from ‘Pro-Russian Parties’ – Ruling Party Tells Opposition

Some opposition parties’ decision to distance themselves from some pro-Russian parties is a positive step, but they should reject cooperation with all Russian-leaning political groups, Giga Bokeria, a key figure from the ruling National Movement party, said on October 1.

A group of at least eight opposition parties set up a special committee on September 29 to organize protest rallies throughout Georgia to demand the release of ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili. They are also calling for early parliamentary elections and a change in the election code.

The committee involves representatives from the Republican Party, Conservative Party, Movement for United Georgia (which was set up by Okruashvili just before his arrest), Freedom Party, Labor Party, Party of People, Georgian Troupe and Georgia’s Way. Goga Khaindrava, a former state minister and now an activist with the human rights group Equality Institute, is also a member of the committee.

The group said it was ready to cooperate with all political and public organizations, except Irina Sarishvili’s Party of Hope, because of its affiliations with Moscow-based, ex-Georgian security chief Igor Giorgadze, who is wanted by Tbilisi for a failed assassination attempt on ex-President Shevardnadze.

“The opposition has made a statement that the door of their alliance is open to everyone, except Sarishvili and Giorgadze,” Bokeria said. “I want to say on my behalf and on behalf on a great part of the ruling party that we welcome this statement.”

He also said, however, the opposition parties should also reject cooperation with Shalva Natelashvili’s Labor Party and the National Forum. The latter recently raised concerns about Georgia’s NATO integration bid.

“We call on them to be consistent and keep a distance from all pro-Russian forces in Georgia,” Bokeria said. “You closed the door to Sarishvili and Giorgadze, while others still remain with you; it is completely unclear.”

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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