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Saakashvili Warns Opposition against ‘Crossing the Line’

President Saakashvili has warned that no one should have any “illusion that one can create problems for the authorities.”

“The authorities are very strong, but we should not cross the line, over which problems will be created for our country as a whole,” Saakashvili said at a meeting with newly elected lawmakers from his ruling party on May 30.

Earlier on May 30 the eight-party opposition bloc and the Labor Party reiterated in a joint statement that they would boycott the newly elected parliament and called for a large-scale protest rally on the day Parliament is due to convene so as to prevent ruling party MPs gaining access.

The president’s warning follows earlier comments from ruling party officials in which they said that the authorities would not allow a disruption to the functioning of administrative structures, including the new parliament.

“Noone should do anything that would undermine the strength of our country, the reputation of our country, the position of our country in such difficult conditions in terms of foreign policy,” Saakashvili said. “The [Georgian] authorities are strong as never before. But Georgia should be stronger. Therefore, we offer the hand of cooperation, friendship, mutual dialogue, unification around Georgia to everybody.”

Saakashvili reiterated that he and his ruling party were ready to offer parliamentary positions, including the Vice-Speaker post, to opposition lawmakers. He also said that he was ready to offer seats to the opposition at the cabinet table as well.

“We have promised to give serious levers to the opposition in the parliament and we will keep this promise,” he said. “We are ready to give them a number of positions, including that of Vice-Speaker, as well as [posts] in [parliamentary] committees. I want to reaffirm my proposal – although we have gained the majority and usually, in other countries, governments would not have done it – but we are ready to offer them various positions in the government as well, if they accept it. I am doing it because Georgia, our country needs to be united, needs to recover from injuries.”

The ruling party has secured up to 120 seats in the 150-seat parliament, which is more than enough to form the constitutional majority in the legislative body. The opposition says the elections were rigged and has called for repeat polls.

“I understand very well the discontent of even the most radical part of the opposition,” Saakashvili said. “I understand their disappointment with the results of the elections, but we all should remember that this country, Georgia, belongs to everybody – to the ruling party, to the opposition – its moderate and radical parts, to those, who are aggressive and less aggressive.”


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