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Okruashvili Quits Politics
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 11 Oct.'07 / 15:32

Irakli Okruashvili, the ex-defense minister, “has done his job” and is now quitting politics, Koka Guntsadze, a lawmaker from the Movement for United Georgia – a party set up by Okruashvili two days before his arrest, said on October 11.

Guntsadze and another lawmaker from the Movement for United Georgia party, Gia Tortladze, met with Okruashvili yesterday in his flat in downtown Tbilisi, where he has been staying since his release on bail on October 9.

Speaking at a news conference on October 11, Guntsadze said Okruashvili felt extremely unwell both mentally and physically.

“After a two-hour meeting with Okruashvili, it became clear that it is extremely difficult for him to talk about the details,” Guntsadze said. “Irakli Okruashvili has done his job. Under current conditions, at this stage, Irakli Okruashvili is quitting politics. We, his friends and partners, want to state that we fully understand his decision and we have no complaints against him.”

Okruashvili was released after retracting his earlier accusations levelled against President Saakashvili about allegedly plotting to kill a business tycoon, Badri Patarkatsishvili. MP Guntsadze, however, said nothing to shed any light on Okruashvili’s U-turn.

“Okruashvili and his political party have released this country from political deadlock,” he said. “Okruashvili broke the spell of fear and triggered an unprecedented and spontaneous protest rally on September 28. Okruashvili initiated unity among the opposition… Our political party will continue to press its demands and we will respond to the authorities appropriately on November 2.”

Ten opposition parties, which united after Okruashvili’s arrest, are planning a mass protest rally in Tbilisi on November 2 to demand parliamentary elections in April, instead of late 2008.

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