Irakli Alasania, leader of Our Georgia–Free Democrats (OGFD) and a runner-up in Tbilisi mayoral race, met with White House and State Department officials during his ongoing visit to Washington this week, OGFD said in a press release.
According to this report Alasania met with Michael McFaul, the U.S. President’s special assistant and senior director for Russian affairs at the National Security Council, as well as with Philip Gordon, the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, and his deputy Tina Kaidanow.
Discussions focused on May 30 local elections and “the need to change the electoral environment”. “It was noted that Georgia should prepare for prepare for peaceful, democratic political transition based on the establishment of fair electoral environment,” OGFD said adding that recent high-level U.S.-Russia talks were also addressed during the meetings.
Alasania, who led a four-party Alliance for Georgia, quit the coalition citing the need to pay more attention to building and developing of his own party in order to prepare for the 2012 parliamentary elections. His former allies within the coalition, Republican Party and New Rights Party, were against of the Alliance for Georgia’s break up saying that more integration between the parties, making up of the coalition, was required instead of fragmentation.
Meanwhile, some other opposition groups have showed signs of possible integration recently with ex-PM Zurab Nogaideli, leader of Movement for Fair Georgia; Levan Gachechiladze, leader of Defend Georgia public movement and ex-defense minister, Irakli Okruashvili, who now lives in France, which granted him asylum, hold consultations on the matter. The three opposition figures met in Munich last week to discuss ways of future cooperation. It has been speculated in the Georgian media that ex-parliamentary chairperson, Nino Burjanadze, who now leads Democratic Movement-United Georgia party, may also join the potential coalition. However, no confirmation of the report has yet come from Burjanadze.