New opposition party, Georgian Party, held its inaugural congress and elected former public defender, Sozar Subari, as its leader on November 24.
Apart of Subari, the party was co-founded by several high-profile opposition figures, including exiled ex-defense minister Irakli Okruashvili; Levan Gachechiladze, an opposition presidential candidate in 2008 elections and Erosi Kitsmarishvili, Georgia’s ex-ambassador to Russia.
Okruashvili and Levan Gachechiladze were elected as co-chairs of the Georgian Party; Kitsmarishvili became the party’s political secretary and Koka Guntsadze, who most recently was member of Irakli Alasania’s Our Georgia-Free Democrats party, became the secretary general of the new party.
The party announced that it would join a planned protest rally outside the Parliament on November 25.
Its leaders said that building of a party infrastructures was their most immediate goal and the target was having “the army of 50,000 well-organized supporters, who will be ready for any challenge” by the spring, 2010.
Okruashvili told the congress via recorded video-message from France, where he was granted asylum, that the new party “will defeat Saakashvili’s regime, whatever the cost.” He also added, that he would arrive in Georgia, where he is wanted and sentenced to jail in absentia, to directly take part in this process; he, however, did not specify when and in what circumstances.
“We do not want to go down the path of confrontation, but we realize, that it is unavoidable. We do not want struggle, which may lead to civil confrontation, but we realize it very well, that this is unavoidable. We are not going to fight with white gloves,” Okruashvili, who has always been known for his tough-worded rhetoric, said in the video-message.
Later Sozar Subari, leader of the Georgian Party, said, while commenting on Okruashvili’s remarks, that his party would not allow “civil confrontation” to happen.
“It won’t be an easy struggle, but it will end with the victory. We are in the forefront of this victory,” Subari said.
Erosi Kitsmarishvili said that the inaugural congress of the new party marked the start of “countdown to the fall of Saakashvili’s regime.”
On party’s foreign policy priorities, Kitsmarishvili said, that Georgia’s integration into the European Union was the priority. “But we won’t join the EU without normalizing ties with Russia,” he said.