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New Opposition Party Established
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 15 Dec.'06 / 19:56

The inaugural conference of the new opposition National Forum party, led by Kakha Shartava,  was held on December 15.

Kakha Shartava is a newcomer in the Georgian politics. He is son of Zhiuli Shartava, a chairman of the Abkhaz Council of Ministers, who was executed after Sokhumi fell to Abkhaz militia groups in September, 1993.

Kakha Shartava, 37, is a former diplomat who worked in the Georgian Embassy in Moscow in 1996-2000.
 
But there also are veteran politicians among other founders of the party, including Revaz Shavishvili, ex-chief of the state audit agency Chamber of Control, Irakli Melashvili and Gubaz Sanikidze, former members of the opposition Traditionalists Union. Economic expert Niko Orvelashvili is also in the party.

“Our main task is to create a party that will defeat the authorities at the very first elections. Without that, our existence will have no purpose. We do not intend to struggle for 5 or 7 percent and enter the Parliament with six members... This should be a party which will win the elections and change the current situation in the country,” Irakli Melashvili said at the inaugural conference.

The party, which will advocate establishment of the parliamentarian republic, focused much on Abkhazia during its inaugural congress on December 15.

Kakha Shartava said that the Georgian side should recognize its, as he put it, mistakes which led to the armed conflict in Abkhazia in early 90s. He said confidence building between the sides will be difficult without this move by Tbilisi.

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