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Alasania: Saakashvili Must Resign
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 25 Jan.'09 / 23:31

  • Does not rule out running for president;
  • Plans to have his ‘political team’;
  • Positions very close with Republicans, New Rights;
  • He said was offered FM’s, Defense Minister’s posts.

Irakli Alasania, Georgia’s former UN envoy, said early presidential elections should be held “to bring the country out of the current crisis.”

“I express my full solidarity with the demand of one part of the opposition about holding early elections,” Alasania said while speaking in live on the public TV’s program Political Week on January 25.

“Saakashvili must resign not only because he dragged the country into a provocative war, but also because he has no ability to bring the country from the current crisis, from the current military-political and economic crisis,” he continued. “He [Saakashvili] has lost confidence both internationally and within the country; so the people should be given an opportunity to elect the new leadership, which first of all will enjoy with confidence of its people and also with huge support of the west and which will have an ability to launch a real dialogue with the Russian authorities. These are three very important aspects.”

When asked by anchor, journalist Inga Grigolia, whether he would run if early presidential elections were called, Alasania responded: “It’s not up to me to decide; we should feel the society’s heartbeat… There is nothing ruled out in the politics.”

In December, when he for the first time spoke publicly about reasons behind his decision to resign from the post of UN ambassador earlier that month, Alasania although said he supported calling early elections, but declined to specify whether he wanted early presidential or parliamentary polls. At that time he also said that he was in the process of consultations with various political parties and failed to specify with which parties he planned to cooperate.

During the televised interview on January 23 he reiterated that he did not plan to set up a separate “political party,” but also added that he intended to present his “political team” to the society “very soon.”

“In parallel to this,” he continued, “we are actually on the final stage of consultations with the political forces on the forms of cooperation.”

“We have very much brought our positions closer to the ones of the Republican Party and the New Rights Party, as well as with the National Forum, with which we have a dialogue and also with the opposition alliance in particular with Levan Gachechiladze,” Alasania added.

He said that opposition parities were “not uniting against someone,” but “uniting around a strategy on how to bring the country out of the crisis.”

Asked how he thought the early elections should be achieved, amid the authorities’ refusal, Alasania responded that a broad public consensus and “the people’s will” was first of all needed for this.
 
“If there is no consensus among the people that we can not continue living like this and that decisive changes are needed… not a single political figure or political force will be able to carry out these changes,” Alasania said.

He then continued that such “will of the people” should be expressed “through constitutional means and one of them can be through referendum.”

“There are other forms as well, including protest rallies,” Alasania said. “Of course if the political struggle requires it, you should also go to the protest rally and tell your message to the people.”

In the televised interview, Alasania again spoke about the reason behind his resignation from the UN ambassador’s position. He also blamed the Georgian leadership for yielding the Russia’s provocation and dragging the country into the war.

After making his first public statement on his intention of going into opposition in December, which was followed with series of consultations with number of opposition figures, Alasania spent most of January in the United States, finalizing procedural issues related with transfer of Georgia’s mission in UN to his successor, Alexandre Lomaia. He also said that while in the United States, he had “consultations” with representatives of former and the new U.S. administrations.

Alasania also said that on December 5, a day after he filed for resignation, he was contacted from the President’s administration and offered to take the post of either Foreign Minister or Defense Minister, which he refused.

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