A screen grab from Kavkasia TV showing Georgian Party leader Sozar Subari (left), Republican Party leader Davit Usupashvili (left) and a host of the talk show Davit Akubardia (middle).
Controversy, triggered by remarks of the opposition Georgian Party co-founder Irakli Okruashvili about the United States, continued with exchange of heated barbs between leaders of the Georgian Party and Republican Party in live TV talk show late on May 12 as the two men, once allies, called each other “scum”.
Sozar Subari, ex-public defender and chairman of the Georgian Party, and Davit Usupashvili, the leader of Republican Party, were debating in the Kavkasia TV’s daily talk show late on Wednesday evening.
Usupashvili was arguing that it was irrational that the Georgian Party was on the one hand announcing about the plans to stage a revolution this year and on the other hand slamming the U.S., which in itself was not justified as unlike the Bush administration, Washington under the President Obama’s administration was pressing more the Georgian authorities on democratic reforms.
He said that the Georgian Party’s stance was only contributing “to strengthening of Saakashvili’s position”. Usupashvili said that pro-governmental TV channels’ extensive coverage of the controversy, involving Okruashvili’s remarks and planned protest rally outside the U.S. embassy, was indicating that the Georgian Party’s moves were in the authorities’ interests.
“Revolution needs both internal and international legitimization… How do you plan to legitimize your intended revolution?”, Usupashvili told Subari and added that while criticizing U.S. the only force remaining “to legitimize your revolution is Russia.”
After those remarks, Subari recalled a meeting between Irakli Alasania, the leader of Our Georgia-Free Democrats party, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on sideline of Munich Secretary Conference in February, 2010.
At that time Subari, Usupashvili and Alasania, along with the New Rights Party, were part of Alliance for Georgia, an electoral bloc running on joint ticket for the May, 2010 local elections. Subari distanced himself from the Alliance shortly before the local elections and quit it just after those elections.
“The meeting between the Alliance leader [Irakli Alasania] and the Russian Foreign Minister was not at all an accidental one; that meeting was pre-planned and the society is not aware of those meetings with preceded the one with Lavrov in Munich… There is no need now to say everything and don’t let me speak about what hopes were pinned [to that meeting],” Sozar Subari told Usupashvili.
“If you have something to say, say it right now here,” Usupashvili responded.
After Subari was pressed by Usupashvili to say what he meant, Subari responded in a conversation, which was at that point already getting heated with interlocutors shouting at each other: “There was an expectation [by the Alliance] of funding [from Russia].”
“What funding are you talking about? You are scum,” Usupashvili told Subari with later returning insults responding: “You are scum.”
After exchange of insults the two politicians continued debates, sometimes heated, on various political topics, mainly focusing on what was the best way to change the authorities. Subari was saying that the policy of group of eight opposition parties, which Usupashvili’s Republican Party is part of, to negotiate with the ruling party on reforming electoral system was senseless and the only way to force Saakashvili resign was mass protest rallies.
On May 12 Our Georgia-Free Democrats party responded to Subari’s remarks about “funding expectations” from Russia, saying that it was “a slander” voiced by “coward and weak politician.”
New Rights Party representative, Mamuka Katsitadze, whose party was in the Alliance for Georgia back in February, 2010, rejected Subari’s remarks as “shameful slander.”