The FINANCIAL — According to Civil Georgia, Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of New Rights Party and co-chairman of Alliance for Georgia, said not having a single leader was not at all the opposition’s advantage, as claimed by some opposition politicians.
“It would have been better if the opposition had united around one leader,” he said in an interview with the Georgian weekly, Kviris Palitra, published on April 27. “We believed that we should have offered the society an alternative leader to Saakashvili; a great part of the opposition should have agreed on a single leader and only afterwards we should have launched a vigorous struggle.”
In February, when New Rights Party, Republican Party and Irakli Alasania’s political team formed Alliance for Georgia, they announced that Alasania would be the alliance’s presidential candidate in case of early elections. Announcement triggered criticism from some other opposition politicians saying that with President Saakashvili still in power it was too early to nominate candidates.
“A leader is necessary when we are trying to change the regime not through elections, but through protest rallies. If we look at the post-Soviet countries, where the authorities were changed in the same way, there was an obvious leader in these countries with the help of which the opposition was managed more easily and effectively,” Gamkrelidze said.
“Image of the opposition in the eyes of both the international and local society is formed based on actions and statements of that one leader,” he continued. “Today there are lots of leaders in the opposition and this fact is being stressed deliberately – the opposition has no single leader and that there is a 15-party governance. Those who think that the society is not asking a question: if not Misha, then who? – are wrong. The opposition should timely answer this question. I like the idea that there will be many candidates during the presidential elections, but it will justify itself only in case, if free elections are held in the country.”
Gamkrelidze also said that the current political standoff in the country was “a struggle of nerves and endurance.”
“In Ukraine the rallies lasted for two months, but the Ukrainian people endured it, although the rallies were held in winter frost; I want very much that our Georgian ‘ghetto’ [a reference to ‘town of cells’] to be so clean and well-organized like it was in Ukraine,” he added.