Opposition lawmakers in Parliament on October 23 have again called on the authorities to help defuse the on-going political standoff in the country by holding parliamentary elections in spring, instead of late 2008, as was originally planned before controversial constitutional amendments were passed.
“Do not resist the will of the people,” Kakha Kukava, a lawmaker from the opposition Conservative Party, said. “We propose that you defuse the crisis through democratic elections. Use this chance, amend the constitution and hold elections on the legally mandated dates.”
MP Kukava was speaking on behalf of ten opposition parties, who are jointly campaigning for elections in April 2008. They are due to hold a mass protest rally outside the parliament on November 2.
Kukava stressed that the opposition’s demand was not “an ultimatum” as the ruling party had described it. But he also warned: “There are no ultimatums before November 2.”
The New Rights Party, although it has refused to join the opposition bloc, has also supported calls for early polls.
“It is a fact that public discontent has reached very high levels,” Davit Gamkrelidze, the leader of the New Rights Party, said. “Early elections are the only way out of this crisis. We propose holding elections as was envisaged before the constitutional amendments.”
In a comment typical of Nino Burjanadze, the parliamentary chairperson said the authorities were willing to engage in dialogue. “But I ask you not to use the language of ultimatums,” she added.