Nino Burjanadze, a former parliamentary speaker, said on October 31 she wanted to “apologize for a failure to protect those who have been morally and physically insulted” on November 7, when the riot police broke up the anti-government protest rallies.
Burjanadze, who announced earlier this week about the plans to set up “a clear-cut opposition party” – Democratic Movement-United Georgia, was speaking at the Tbilisi-based Kavkasia TV’s talk show. Her participation in the Kavkasia TV’s program, which mainly serves as a platform for the opposition, would have been a surprise months ago when Burjanadze was a parliamentary chairperson.
During the live interview Burjanadze adhered to the line, which she started with an open letter to the President, involving distancing herself from unpopular moves of the authorities made at the time when she was also part of the ruling party.
Burjanadze said that she had tried to influence on the authorities’ decision-making process from within and was in the opposition from within the team. She said that she did not resign on November 7 – “even my both sons were begging me to resign at that time” – because resignation could have led “to worse consequences… even tanks could have rolled into the streets.” She said that resignation on November 7 “would have politically profitable for me, but not for the country.” She also said that she did not know who had ordered to break up the rally.
She also said that “not having my own political team was my weakness,” limiting her capabilities to properly influence on the decision-making process.
During the TV program, which is a call-in talk show, one viewer recalled Burjanadze’s criticism of Salome Zourabichvili, a former foreign minister, who slammed the parliament and authorities before quitting the cabinet and going into opposition in 2005. Burjanadze said at that time: “I do not believe in those persons who resort to criticism only after their chairs are endangered.” The viewer asked Burjanadze if she thought that she was now in the similar situation like Zourabichvili three years ago, speaking about former allies “angrily” because of losing the post. Burjanadze responded that she herself had refused to take the second highest post in the country by refusing to run for the parliament.
Speaking about the August war, Burjanadze said that the President called her and requested a meeting, which was held on August 3.
“At that point, I had an impression – as a result of that meeting – that no decision was made by the President to engage in that war,” Burjanadze said. “That is why I am asking now what has happened and who has advised the President to engage in the war.”
When asked who will be in her new political team, she said that her new party would not be oriented to recruiting “famous faces;” she, however, did not go into details.