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Ruling Party Slams Opposition for Boycotting Peacekeeper Vote
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Jul.'06 / 19:58

Key leaders of the ruling National Movement party stepped up criticism of the opposition MPs on Wednesday for refusal to participate in a voting on resolution about Russian peacekeeping troops on July 18.

The opposition parliamentarians said the resolution was just “an empty paper” which could not become an excuse for stopping their boycott of the parliamentary sessions, which was launched on March 31. The opposition mainly demands the resignation of the Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili.

Speaking at a news conference on July 19 an influential MP from the ruling party Giga Bokeria said that instead of supporting the authorities in a very decisive moment, the opposition “uses all methods to sow frustration in society.”

“One part of these political forces - I will not be ashamed to list them – the Labor Party, Forward Georgia, [wanted ex-security chief] Igor Giorgadze’s party – are directly linked with Moscow, while another part [of the opposition] is so blinded by hate towards the authorities, that it is even ready to make a deal with the devil in order to achieve its own goals,” Giga Bokeria said.

“We have packed off Russia’s major foothold in Georgia – Aslan Abashidze [Adjara’s ex-leader], we have launched the pullout of the Russian military bases from Georgia, we have taken important steps towards energy independence. We have almost destroyed organized crime and criminal bosses, which were Moscow’s direct foothold in Georgia, we have taken a major step towards pullout of [Russian] peacekeepers,” Bokeria said.

But the opposition lawmakers downplayed importance of the Parliament’s July 18 resolution and described it as “one more PR action” of the authorities. The opposition claims that the executive authorities’ determination and political will is needed for the peacekeepers withdrawal.

The Georgian press wrote on Wednesday that discussion of the resolution on July 18 was accompanied by emotional speeches by the MPs from parliamentary majority. MPs from the ruling party were “competing with each other” in making radical and anti-Russian statements, the daily Rezonansi wrote.

The daily 24 Saati (24 Hours) quoted MP Nodar Grigalashvili who said Russian “snakes should slither back over the Caucasus Mountains.”

MP Giga Bokeria said the symbols of the Russian military bases and peacekeepers in Georgia should find place in the Museum of Soviet Occupation, which was opened in Tbilisi this May, according to the 24 Saati.

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