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Burjanadze Runs for President
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 13 Jun.'13 / 02:18

Nino Burjanadze, leader of the Democratic Movement-United Georgia, who has announced about intention to run for president in the October 2013 election, said on June 12 that her party had completed "reorganization" and would launch opening its branch offices in the regions for the upcoming campaign.

"If the election campaign is held in compliance to at least minimal standards, I am sure I will win these elections," she told Kavkasia TV on June 12.

"We should learn that no matter how much we may like a political leader, absolute power should not be concentrated in the hands of a single political force. So it matters a lot who the president will be in Georgia in order to have a balance and to have a president, who will not start nodding head on every issue to even such a respected person like Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili," Burjanadze said.

Georgian Dream coalition has named education minister and PM Ivanishvili's close ally Giorgi Margvelashvili as its presidential candidate.

President Saakashvili's UNM party has yet to select its presidential candidate. Although after the arrest of its secretary general Vano Merabishvili, UNM said it would drop plans to hold internal election or primaries to choose a candidate, UNM parliamentary minority leader Davit Bakradze said on June 11 that there was “a high probability” that the party would to stick to its original plan and hold primaries.

Burjanadze, who was parliament speaker from 2001 to 2008 and served as as an acting president twice, was President Saakashvili's ally before quitting UNM party just before the parliamentary elections in 2008.

Burjanadze, whose party did not run in the October 2012 parliamentary elections, led the street protest rallies, which came to a violent end on May 26, 2011 after riot police broke up the demonstration on the Rustaveli Avenue.

She said on June 12 that UNM candidate had no chance of winning upcoming elections and added that while UNM would be contesting for a second place in order to establish itself as the major opposition force in the country, she would be contesting only for a victory.

Burjanadze criticized the government for not engaging in full scale negotiations with Russia and limiting ongoing bilateral dialogue only with trade and economic issues. On foreign policy, she also said, her priority would be "keeping friendly and strategic relationship with the West."

On domestic issues, she said "restoration of justice" would be her priority and added that putting ex-defense minister Bacho Akhalaia and ex-PM and former interior minister Vano Merabishvili behind bars was not enough for "restoration of justice"; she added that the government was failing to address the issue of property, which, she said, was illegally seized from many citizens by the previous authorities.

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