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Ruling Party Says Okruashvili is ‘Hysterical’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 25 Sep.'07 / 18:32

Irakli Okruashvili’s accusations against the authorities and President Saakashvili were “utter nonsense, hysterical and groundless slander,” Giga Bokeria, a key lawmaker from the ruling National Movement Party, said on September 25.

Bokeria convened a news conference after ex-Defense Minister Irakli Okruashvili, who announced the launch of a party, Movement for United Georgia, on September 25, accused President Saakashvili and his administration of “fascist trends,” “ordering murders” and “anti-state steps.”

“It is absolutely impossible,” Bokeria said, “to seriously respond to these absurd allegations.”

“It was pitiful to see how degraded Okruashvili, who was a member of our team, was,” Bokeria said. “And I am really sorry that he has turned his back on the values and principles which we have been fighting for.”

Bokeria also said that he thought Okruashvili’s “irritation” was began back in 2005 when the authorities cracked down on smuggling and corruption in the Kvemo Kartli region, where, Bokeria said, some of Okruashvili’s allies were arrested.

“It seems that he was finally infuriated by the recent arrests of his close associates in the Shida Kartli region,” Bokeria added.

He also said that while listening to Okruashvili’s statement, he thought he was listening to Igor Giorgadze, a Georgian ex-security chief wanted on terrorism charges, or Russian politicians.

Bokeria also said he doubted that Okruashvili’s party would gain public support. “Judging by his statements and based on the team he has, I do not think he will succeed,” Bokeria added.

Lawmakers Tea Tlashadze and Ketevan Makharashvili, how recently quit the ruling party, as well as lawmakers Koka Guntsadze, Gia Tortladze and Gia Tsagareishvili; former Deputy Defense Minister Levan Nikolaishvili and a lawyer, Eka Beselia, as well as former journalists from Rustavi 2 TV station, Nana Lezhava and Natia Lazashvili, are members of the newly established party.

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