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New Leadership Prepares for Elections, Shevardnadze Remains in Georgia
/ 25 Nov.'03 / 12:54

While thousands were celebrating the second night of ‘Rose Revolution’ in Georgia on November 24 with the rock concert outside the Parliament, ex-President Eduard Shevardnadze was giving interview to the western televisions, saying he avoided bloodshed with resignation. Shevardnadze looked exhausted.

Meanwhile, Georgia’s new leader Nino Burjanadze vows to keep stability in the country and prepares for holding new presidential and parliamentary elections. 

In his interviews to the ZDF, CNN and Reuters Eduard Shevardnadze explained the moves he did just before he was forced to leave the office. This was the first appearance of Shevardnadze, since his resignation in the evening on November 23, as a result of bloodless revolution.

“I thought that the announcement of state of emergency [on November 22] and the anticipation of troops to come to deal with the crisis, would have dispersed the people, I thought they would have been scared; however there were too many of them [protesters]. It was absolutely impossible to disperse them without bloodshed. But bloodshed is not my style,” Eduard Shevardnadze said.

“The bloodshed would have been a black page in our history. I could not permit this, especially on the eve of expiration of my presidential term,” he added.

“Democracy needs to be controlled. It is not good too much of democracy. I think this was my mistake. Our people appeared to be absolutely unprepared for too much of democracy,” Eduard Shevardnadze said.

While speaking about his mistakes, he said that he underestimated power of the opposition and those forces which were controlled by the foreign countries.

“I thought those movements, which were developing in Georgia, like it was in Yugoslavian – you remember young people running in the streets, chanting some kind of slogans [Shevardnadze hinted on Kmara anti-governmental movement] – I thought they would have calmed down. But I was wrong,” Shevardnadze said.

He also said that he has no plans to leave the country, thus dismissing speculations over his possible departure to Germany. “I love Germany, but Georgia is my homeland,” he added.

Earlier on the same day Georgian TV channels showed the footage of meeting between Shevardnadze and Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church Illia II.

Shevardnadze told Illia II he should have resigned earlier, but his inner circle was against. 

“I should have resigned in the morning [on November 23]. Even Nanuli [Eduard Shevardnadze’s wife] urged me in the morning to resign. Than Paata [Shevardnadze’s son] phoned me and also asked to step down, but what should I have done? There were people around me, including [Avtandil] Jorbenadze [the State Minister], who were against,” Eduard Shevardnadze told Illia II.

Meanwhile acting President Nino Burjanadze, who took over the post after Shevardnadze’s resignation, will spent on November 25 first day in the State Chancellery, which is the Georgian President’s office. 

There is calm and quiet in the streets of Tbilisi, on the second day after ‘velvet,’ or ‘rose revolution’ – in recognition of the roses protesters carried in the peaceful demonstrations and during the storm of the Parliament building.

The police and security is back and the country returns to usual way of live. However interim President Nino Burjanadze said on November 25 that “situation remains difficult, particularly in the economy.”

“All the governmental departments should resume thier duties as soon as possible. We have grave situation, particularly in economy,” Nino Burjanadze said. 

Secretary of the National Security Council Tedo Japaridze also raised concern over the difficult situation in the country, adding “the revolution has ended and now it is possible to maintain stability.”

The first session of the previous Parliament is scheduled on November 25, which will discuss the issue of new presidential and parliamentary elections to be held within 45 days.

However the Revival Union, led by Adjarian leader Aslan Abashidze, boycotted the previous Parliament.

The Supreme Court on November 25 canceled the results of the fraudulent November 2 parliamentary elections, thus further paving the way for legal rights of the previous Parliament to perform duties.

The United States has already expressed readiness to assist Georgia in holding free and fair elections.

However the issues of management of the new elections remain unclear, as the current Central Elections Commission, majority of whose members were Shevardnadze’s supporters, is absolutely discredited after approving fraudulent November 2 parliamentary election results.

The court's decision to cancel the election results was a further blow for the current Central Election Commission.

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