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Early Polls not Considered – Senior Ruling Party MP
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 27 Mar.'09 / 12:32

Mikheil Machavariani, the vice-speaker of the parliament from the ruling party, said the authorities were not considering holding of either early presidential or early parliamentary elections.

The Georgian press has been speculating in recent days that the authorities might be considering offering the opposition holding of early parliamentary elections, instead of the presidential ones, as demanded by the group of opposition parties. The speculation came amid calls by the parliamentary minority leader, Giorgi Targamadze – the chairman of Christian-Democratic Movement, to launch dialogue on switching from the presidential system to the parliamentary one.

Davit Bakradze, the Georgian parliamentary chairman, told the audience at the Washington-based Brookings Institution that the offer could become an issue of consultation with the opposition. He, however, also said he deemed such change of system not appropriate for now, the Georgian television stations reported on March 27.

MP Machavariani told journalists on March 27, that the authorities were ready for a dialogue with the opposition on the most urgent issues for the country.

“Situation is complicated in the country,” he said. “We seen the way out from this difficult situation in holding a dialogue with the opposition on the most important issues for the country – by priorities we see these issues as follows: security; economic problems, involving preventing economic crisis and tackling unemployment; political issues. But we are not considering holding of early presidential and parliamentary elections. We should think on how to resolve these problems, instead of spending money on elections.”

Meanwhile, leaders from the group of about dozen opposition parties planning to launch street protest rallies on April 9 to demand President Saakashvili’s resignation are holding consultations with each other on the issues related with the organizing the rallies. Irakli Alasania, the leader of Alliance for Georgia, attended such meeting late on March 26. He said on March 25 that his Alliance, also involving the New Rights and Republican parties, would join the planned rallies.

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