During her six-hour visit in Tbilisi on July 5, U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, briefly met with MP Giorgi Targamadze, leader of Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) and of the parliamentary minority, and Irakli Alasania, leader of Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD).
Levan Vepkhvadze, a senior CDM official and a vice-speaker of the parliament, as well as Alexi Petriashvili of OGFD also attended the meeting.
“I was assured as a result of this meeting that the United States will continue its firm support to Georgia’s democracy and security,” Irakli Alasania told reporters after the meeting.
Alasania, who has recently visited the United States, said that the U.S. would allocate “a solid” package of aid to improve the election environment in Georgia.
“Concrete issues are concerned here, like accuracy of voter lists, further work on election code and providing the opposition forces to attract funds and assistance in order to strengthen our party infrastructure,” he added.
MP Giorgi Targamadze said that the necessity for development of political processes within constitutional frames was discussed during the meeting.
“It was especially stressed to develop the political processes within constitutional frames, to make the political system a basis for peaceful power transition,” he said.
Invitation of only these two opposition leaders at the meeting with the U.S. Secretary of State has angered some other opposition representatives.
Kakha Kukava of the Conservatives Party said that the U.S. embassy in Tbilisi selected only those opposition representatives for the meeting “whose opinions would not be too tough to hear for Mrs. Clinton.”
Nino Burjanadze, ex-parliamentary speaker and leader of Democratic Movement-United Georgia, was invited at a town hall meeting of the Secretary of State with Georgian women leaders; she, however, refused to attend, citing that format of that meeting was not appropriate for fully expressing her opinions.
Irakli Alasania is a runner up in Tbilisi mayoral race in the May 30 local elections and now collapsed coalition, Alliance for Georgia, led by him garnered most of the votes in Tbilisi after the ruling party.
MP Giorgi Targamadze’s party, CDM, received most of the votes, after the ruling party, in absolute majority of 64 municipalities. It, however, was third after the ruling party and Alliance for Georgia in the capital city.