Irakli Alasania, the leader of opposition Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) party, said there was a sign of readiness among the authorities showing their readiness to carry out “real changes.”
“I note with cautious optimism that a stance on the part of the authorities is noticeable that they are ready for implementing real and substantive changes. Of course much will depend on the process of negotiations [on electoral system reform] and on Saakashvili’s political will; but at this stage there really is a stance [among the authorities] that the time for change has come,” Alasania said in an interview with the Georgian daily, Rezonansi, published on March 1.
He said that he had met with Secretary of National Security Council, Giga Bokeria, last week to discuss issues related with election system reform. He also said that he planned a meeting with representatives of those seven opposition parties, which along with OGFD have put forth joint proposals for election system reform, to brief them about his meeting with Bokeria.
Alasania also said that protest rallies on concrete issues, such as against the authorities’ policies towards social problems, economy, business, agriculture and justice system were anticipated.
“It does not mean that our demand should be a forceful overthrow of the government; that won’t be right,” he said, adding that such scenario would only play into the hands of President Saakashvili.
Alasania said that issue-based protest rallies “will take place if the political will [for change], which has to some extent emerged among the authorities, is blocked by Saakashvili’s unilateral decisions.”