MP Kakha Kukava, leader of the Conservative Party – part of the nine-party opposition bloc, said he believed Nino Burjanadze’s withdrawal from the ruling party and election race was a good opportunity for the opposition.
After Burjanadze’s statement we have a historic chance to get rid of this government peacefully, without any revolution and rebellion, because the contrast has never been so obvious [between the opposition and the authorities],” MP Kukava said in an interview with the daily Rezonansi published on April 26. “On the one hand there are [ruling party MP] Givi Targamadze, [executive director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation] Davit Darchiashvili, [an actor] Gia Roinishvili and on the other hand there are leaders of the united opposition and it is easy [for a voter] to make a choice.”
“After Nino Burjanadze’s withdrawal the National Movement was also quit by political faces and now Saakashvili’s party-list consists of only people from Soros foundation [Open Society Georgia Foundation], plus of those with money bags [this is how the opposition refers to businessmen who agreed to run for majoritarian MP seats under the ruling party’s banner] and lower level of party activists are hooligans and drug edicts… I think it was very important decision [by Burjanadze], because the National Movement has been left not only without political resource, but also the administrative resources [of the ruling party] have shrunken as well.”
He said it was difficult to speculate on Burjanadze’s future political career at this stage. “Everybody knows that Nino Burjanadze has no exceptional talent. She was just lucky that Zurab Zhvania picked her up after he resigned [from the position of parliamentary chairmanship in 2001]. Since then she has failed to take any right step, although she had many chances, but I think she won’t have chances any more. I also think that she is not capable to be a leader of the political group, but on the other hand I do not think she wants to have non-leading position in the opposition.”
MP Kukava, who is a majoritarian MP candidate in the Tbilisi’s Gldani single-mandate constituency, said the nine-party bloc’s tactic was to pay more attention to large constituencies. “Opposition leaders decided to run in major constituencies for that very reason. For example Gldani is Georgia’s second largest constituency and the largest in Tbilisi. If we manage to win landslide in these large constituencies, we can afford to overshadow with this wins ballot-rigging in smaller constituencies… So let’s say in Gldani we are not fighting for only one seat, but in fact for ten seats.”