Irakli Alasania, leader of four-party Alliance for Georgia (AFG), said the local election result was far from being a success for his coalition, but it created opportunity on which success could be built for 2012 parliamentary elections.
"Improvement of the current electoral environment and winning the parliamentary elections - these are the issues on which we are now focused," he told Tbilisi-based Maestro TV's program, Straightforward Conversation, late on June 2.
Alasania came second in the Tbilisi mayoral race after the incumbent with 19% of votes.
Referring to President Saakashvili's remarks made earlier on June 2 about the next elections, Alasania warned the authorities not to try "to tailor new constitution on thier own interests."
President Saakashvili said at government session: “The nearest elections will not be held within, at least, two years or even more – I do not know exactly how [new] constitution will be formulated."
"I want to warn the authorities, that our patience also has limits," Alasania said. "If the authorities started to tailor the constitution on thier own interests, it will have irreconcilable response from us, as well as from the international community."
He also said that new constitution should be endorsed through referendum and the new constitution's "legitimacy will be doubtful" if it was passed by the sitting parliament.
He said that the results of the local elections took AFG on the top of the opposition forces making it "a leading opposition force in the country."
But AFG's claims on this status are challenged by Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM), a leading party in the parliamentary minority.
Although CDM came third in Tbilisi elections with 12% after the ruling party (52.5%) and AFG (18%), it has out-polled other opposition parties, including AFG in majority of provincial municipalities. CDM also received much more votes in large towns - Kutaisi, Rustavi, Batumi and Poti - than AFG (for details see the results on the map).
MP Giorgi Targamadze, the leader of CDM, said after the elections that the results were success for his party.
“If any political organization has a firm ground to talk about success, it is us, the Christian-Democratic Movement, which gained the firm first place on the opposition front throughout Georgia,” he said.
Alasania, however, said that his alliance received in the provinces more than he expected. "It was a surprise for me," he said and added that the Alliance was making focus mainly on the contest in Tbilisi and it had not enough financial and human resources to properly campaign in the regions.
In general all the parties were making major focus on the Tbilisi contest, but the ruling party and CDM carried out more active campaigning in the regions than any other political party.
Alasania said that as part of preparing for the next elections, his coalition and in particular his party, Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD), which he established year ago, would also focus on building party infrastructure in the regions.
He acknowledged that he was a bit disappointed with voter turnout in Tbilisi, 46.6%, as he expected about 60% or even 65%. Alasania said that some opposition parties' stance, apparently referring to those who were boycotting the elections, contributed to "nihilism" among part of opposition-minded voters.
He also said that the major achievement of the elections was that the developments had eventually moved "from stone-throwing into political process". "There is no other alternative rather than elections in order to change the government," he said.