Despite his decision to finance the opposition, business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili will fail to stage a putsch in Georgia, Gigi Ugulava, the Tbilisi Mayor and President Saakashvili’s close associate said on October 29.
“His putsch will not work in Georgia,” he told reporters. “Patarkatsishvili failed to buy Georgian sport [Patarkatsishvili was president of Georgian National Olympic Committee], he failed to buy Georgian business [Patarkatsishvili was president of Federation of Georgian Businessmen], he failed to buy Georgian culture, but he easily managed to buy the opposition.”
Ugulava compared Patarkatsishvili with Sergo Orjonikidze, who led Bolshevik invasion of Georgia in 1921.
“Whatever the color of Orjonikidze’s mustache is, he has always been and will be Georgia’s traitor,” Ugulava said in a reference to Patarkatsishvili’s gray mustache, as Ordjonikidze had the dark one.
Patarkatsishvili said in a written statement on October 27 that he would finance ten opposition parties’ campaign aimed at holding parliamentary elections in April, instead of late 2008.
Opposition plans a large scale rally in Tbilisi on November 2 after holding series of protest rallies in the provinces. Patarkatsishvili said he would provide funding to the opposition for holding protest rallies “in a civilized manner.”
Meanwhile, MP Davit Gamkrelidze, a leader of opposition New Rights Party left for London on October 29, to meet with Patarkatsishvili there. Although the New Rights Part is not part of a ten-party opposition coalition, it supports a demand of holding parliamentary elections in April.
“We had a telephone conversation yesterday and we agreed that a meeting in London was urgent, because Badri really can play a very serious role in maintaining processes in a constitutional frame,” Gamkrelidze told reporters before departure.
He also hailed Patarkatsishvili’s announcement about his plans to finance the opposition. “It can be only positive if legal money is used for this campaign, instead of illegal money coming from foreign countries,” he said.