President Saakashvili proposed on August 29 to the opposition to set up, what he called, “an anti-crisis council” to monitor foreign aid coming into Georgia as part of post-conflict relief efforts.
“I am proposing to the opposition to set up a joint anti-crisis council, which will include not only the opposition, but also representatives of civil society,” Saakashvili said. “The goal is to have these anti-crisis councils not only in the center [Tbilisi], but also on the ground [in the conflict-affected areas], which will be composed of the opposition, civil society representatives and the victims themselves, so as to control the inflow of aid and its distribution.”
“I would be more than glad to involve the entire political spectrum and the public in this process,” he added.
Meanwhile, Levan Gachechiladze, an opposition politician who was Saakashvili’s main rival in the January 5 presidential election, said he had met Saakashvili recently and had discussed the matter.
But it seems that the opposition wants more than just an oversight of aid distribution role.
In an interview with the Georgian daily, Rezonansi, published on August 30, Gachechiladze said that he had proposed to Saakashvili during the meeting to elaborate an anti-crisis plan to help create genuinely “liberal conditions in the country.”
“This involves changing election-related legislation; setting television stations free of propaganda or pressure and preventing economic crisis,” Gachechiladze said. “That is the anti-crisis program, which should be implemented by the authorities in close cooperation with the public.”
He also said that currently, against the background of the presence of Russian forces on Georgian soil, there was no time for confrontation with the authorities.
Gachechiladze, however, added that the time would come when those who “have made mistakes” would be held accountable.
“Today and tomorrow I will not go onto the street [to stage protest rallies], but if the authorities fail to take their share of responsibility and if they fail to acknowledge mistakes, there will be no other option,” he added.
Gachechiladze is a co-leader of the opposition coalition, but his remarks were made in a personal capacity.