The Georgian press described the decision by Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze not to run in the May 21 parliamentary election as “shocking” and “unexpected.”
The daily Rezonansi writes in a front-page article, ‘National Shock', that Burjanadze’s surprise decision “has muddled up everything within the ruling National Movement party.”
She made no secret of the fact that her decision was linked to a failure to agree with other National Movement leaders over the party-list.
According to Rezonansi Burjanadze wanted at least 15 of her allies to be in the top 30 of the ruling party’s list of MP candidates. Reports say that the ruling party expects to endorse at least 30 candidates in the new parliament through the proportional, party-list system.
“Initially the president [Saakashvili] had agreed to that, but later other leaders of the ruling party made the president change his decision,” Rezonansi writes.
The Alia reported that Burjanadze had demanded the inclusion of up to 30 of her allies in the list, which was totally unacceptable to other ruling party leaders, including President Saakashvili.
The daily 24 Saati (24 Hours) wrote that Burjanadze’s decision had been expected, but the timing was unexpected. “It is worth noting that Burjanadze’s decision comes when preliminary projections indicate that the National Movement is expected to have an impressive representation in the new parliament – not because its popularity has increased, but because its opponents’ ratings have gone down. She said she would remain as the parliamentary chairperson and would be a guarantor of free and fair elections. Burjanadze’s statement is a puzzle for those who try to predict her future political fate,” 24 Saati writes.