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Republicans Attack Burjanadze
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 14 Mar.'08 / 15:59

Shortly after the New Rights opposition party demanded Nino Burjanadze's resignation on March 14, Tina Khidasheli, one of the leaders of the opposition Republican Party, accused the parliamentary speaker at a news conference of failing to follow through on commitments undertaken during the negotiations with the opposition.

“I want to say publicly that because Burjanadze was incapable [of making political decisions] and because she lacks political weight, dialogue has been deadlocked,” Khidasheli said. “Her failure to demonstrate political will and her inability to implement decisions made at the negotiations has brought dialogue to a deadlock.”

Earlier on March 14 Burjanadze called on the opposition to call off protests and hunger strikes and resume dialogue on issues related to the upcoming parliamentary elections this May.

Khidasheli claimed that agreement had been reached on so-called ‘regional proportional lists’ for the election of 50 majoritarian MPs in the new 150-member parliament. Parliament, however, backed a proposal for 75 majoritarian MPs in single-mandate constituencies, which has been the cause of much opposition resentment and protest. Khidasheli said the decison should be immediately annulled.

“She [Burjanadze] was lying when she said that the opposition brought dialogue to a standstill in relation to the appointment of a new director general of the Georgian Public Broadcaster,” Khidasheli said. “Burjanadze and the authorities have rejected an opposition-proposed nominee, but they have failed to name an alternative. We expect them to propose a nominee. The talks on this issue have been suspended because the authorities have failed to nominate a single candidate. We proposed our nominee for this position long ago, but have not received any response from them so far.”

The opposition is reportedly pushing for the nomination of Ia Antadze, a commentator and a journalist.

Khidasheli also complained that no progress on the composition of a new Central Election Commission (CEC) had been made, citing the fact that Levan Tarkhnishvili remained the CEC chairman. Tarkhnishvili’s resignation is a major opposition demand. “We have not received any answer as to whether Burjanadze is willing to appoint the CEC chairman through agreement with the opposition,” Khidasheli said.

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