Ramaz Sakvarelidze: step which will score up opposition in elections

About respondent

In regard to the passivity of opposition experts say that in our country the "television opposition" is. The Georgian political spectrum is wakened time to time only by the constitutional changes, in connection to these changes the opposition has a range of questions. But they are only expressing the "modest" estimations. The opposition says it prepares for future elections; two years are left to those elections. These questions and current processes in the country GHN discussed with Ramaz Sakvarelidze, political scientist.

- Mr Ramaz, opposition says new constitutional model is in favor of one person only - Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili. We can see him after expiration of his Presidential term taking the Office of Prime Minister. According to the new constitution PM functions are broadening, but Presidential one's narrowing.

-Soon after the Presidential elections it was evident for retaining the power and continuation of political life this young man needs something unusual to happen. Saakahsvili has a motivation but opposition faced the challenge unprepared.

- What is your estimation of constitutional amendments that are to be passed in Parliament in the nearest future?
- I would say this is not a step forward. I have a different position in this regard. If the changes are necessary (and they are indeed) then we should change the presidential model, and not to throw up the 15 years experience of Presidential model to nowhere. Now, I think we will get radically new and unprecedented model, or we will start from nothing. Then another 15 years will pass until we gain an experience. I believe it is not proper to loose our constitutional experience.

- What about the Georgian opposition threatening us a few month ago with street protest actions, if not supported by the government; but its promises are not realized. Why the opposition moved to political coulisses?

- The opposition moves to the political coulisse, when it has no power necessary for actions. At the same time it might not see what direction should be taken. We have a television opposition; according to it the Georgia created by TV is quite different form original one. The opposition is a television one as well government; they are giving interviews only.

- Is this because of hopeless situation of opposition, and disbelief that after so many defeats people will trust them again?

- From one point of view this is a right estimation, but the opposition occurred in such difficult situation thanks to the government. Government made useless and senseless the protest actions, it blocked the chance for success for opposition. As well chances for success in elections are blocked. Government acted very energetically and effectively. After closing all chances opposition needs a time to think out what to do.

- Often when opposition is blamed in inactivity, they say in turn that are in process of preparation for the future elections. But people may forget about its existence before they will come out form coulisses.

-- If this will continue, that will be the case inevitably. They say that preparing for elections but this does not mean to remain in silence. The real preparation means activity and reactions to the questions that are painful for people. As you know we were not talking about the elections yet, when Saakashvili (being in opposition to Shevardnadze) being at that time Justice Minister revealed corrupted public officials on the Cabinet sitting. This step was a real preparation for future elections, but no such actions are evident in opposition now.

- You commented once that Saakashvilil has had changed his attitude towards Parliamentary ex Spokeswoman, and became more loyal. After this Davit Bakradze, Parliamentary Chairperson meets with oppositionist Irakl Alasania... What do you think, about government's disposition.

- I do not think that government is afraid of opposition. Because of this he is less aggressive in his speeches. Peron is aggressive when it is afraid of something. When the fear disappears, person became more loyal. Now they are "making" the opposition more moderate, unwilling radical steps, and eventually most of them will say - we are preparing for elections. Such opposition is very handy for Saakashvili. Saakashvili can now win elections even not violating any rules (the local elections showed this). The opposition will became less and less dangerous for Saakashvili in case its only direction to elections.

- Opposition demands amendments in the Elections Code. In this respect they presented own point of view. Do you think government will compromise in connection with elections?

- It may happen the government will compromise in some unimportant part, but then again do what they wish.

Tamar Mamukashvili, "GHN"