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Opposition MP Lashes Out at OSCE Observers, Businessmen

Zviad Dzidziguri, a lawmaker from the Conservative Party, part of the nine-party opposition coalition backing Levan Gachechiladze’s presidential bid, said international election observers “should have been cleverer” and should not have given a mostly positive assessment of the January 5 election.

“Making statements [referring to the positive assessments] of this type amounts to lying to 950,000 Georgian citizens, who voted for Levan Gachechiladze,” MP Dzidziguri said. He added that “most of the OSCE observers were drunk” and ignorant.

Speaking on a live talk show at a small Tbilisi-based television station, Kavkasia, late on January 12, MP Dzidziguri also attacked some Georgian businessmen for allegedly financing Saakashvili’s campaign.

“Are you crazy?” he said referring to the business people, specifically Temur Chkonia, the president of Coca Cola in Georgia. “I buy your Coca-Cola and you give this money to Saakashvili. Don’t you have any brains in your head? What are you doing,”? he asked. He then said “we are not threatening you,” but added: “You should be afraid of us. You have no right to use this money, which you earn from us, for Saakashvili.”

Later on the same TV talk show, another lawmaker, Davit Zurabishvili, from the Republican Party, also part of the nine-party coalition, tried to soften his colleague’s remarks, saying that “OSCE election monitors were the most serious” of the international observers.


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