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Opposition MP: Ruling Party ‘Hardliners’ Scuttle Talks
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 12 Feb.'08 / 17:56

Hardliners within the ruling party are trying to scuttle a possible compromise agreement between the opposition and the authorities, MP Davit Berdzenishvili of the opposition Republican Party said on February 12.

He said that the so-called ‘Liberty Institute wing’ within the ruling party, represented by MP Giga Bokeria, was pressing Parliamentary Speaker Nino Burjanadze to maintain a hard-line position in talks with the opposition.

“I think that Nino Burjanadze’s wing within the ruling party is being undermined by others, who have Saakashvili almost like a hostage,” MP Berdzenishvili said. “There is no unity among the ruling party. It seems that Liberty Institute wing within the ruling party, which is an influential group and whose influence has not diminished, deters talks.”

“It was not by accident that the Liberty Institute made a statement formally telling both the authorities and the opposition, but in fact one wing within the ruling party, to get their hands off the Georgian Public Broadcaster.”

MP Berdzenishvili was referring to a statement by the Liberty Institute, in which it accused the opposition and the authorities, in particular Parliament and the parliamentary speaker, Nino Burjanadze, of “crude violations” of the law on public broadcasting.

The ruling party has dismissed allegations that there are separate ‘wings’ within the party, saying the suggestion was "absurd."

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