skip to content

Opposition Prepares for Post-Election Protests ? Burjanadze

Nino Burjanadze, the acting president, lashed out at the opposition, saying they were assuming that the January 5 election would be rigged and instead of concentrating on the election itself, were more focused on preparing post-election protests. 

?This is hugely irresponsible, because you [referring to the opposition] should do your best to win the election,? Burjanadze said. ?You say that the authorities are hampering your election campaign and you are getting ready for January 6? It’s unreal. I am deeply concerned about the opposition?s stance.?

Burjanadze said that she was often contacted by opposition leaders complaining about alleged violations and pressure; however, she said, after looking into the allegations, most of them turned out to be groundless.

The opposition has alleged on-going intimidation of their activists, mainly in the provinces, and the extensive misuse of administrative resources by presidential candidate Mikheil Saakashvili and his ruling party.

Speaking on a Rustavi 2 TV political talk show on December 10, MP Mamuka Katsitadze of the New Rights Party (Davit Gamkrelidze is the party’s presidential candidate) insisted that ?violations are already taking place.” 

“Intimidation, pressure on opposition activists, unfair allocation of broadcast airtime, the misuse of administrative resources and the bribing of voters ? these are all taking place,” he said.

He did, however, say that such alleged violations didn’t necessarily mean the election would be rigged. “If we, along with international observers, manage to curb this illegality ahead of the polls, of course we will say that they were fair. We are not fixated on the idea that the elections will definitely be rigged,? he said.

Speaking on the same show, Tina Khidasheli of the Republican Party (a member of the nine-party opposition coalition backing Levan Gachechiladze for the presidency) accused the government of planting what she called nihilism.

?The ruling party accuses the opposition of preparing for January 6 instead of polling day, which is of course not true,? she said. ?The authorities will not dare rig the ballot. And this is what we are telling voters at every meeting. We will protect your votes and it will not be possible to rig the elections ? this is what we are telling them. We will concede victory to anyone who wins in a free and fair election.?

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


Back to top button