Irina Sarishvili: Alliance and Nogaideli - two sides of the same government

About respondent

Many things are prognosed in an eve of the self governance elections and Tbilisi Mayor elections. Some consider elections as only way for changes. Some oppositional parties think that the elections on May 30 will be a farce only. On this ground Nino Burjanadze's party, National Forum and other influential political organizations opted out from elections. Irina Sarishvili, ex-chairperson of National Democratic party, who was absent from politics after 2008 presidential elections as well will not take part at this elections race. She talked with news agency GHN about many important issues - a main claimant for a City Mayor post; what future for the country after the elections, who among the politicians may be considered as a traitor of Georgia; about the perspectives of relations development with Russian Federation; about NATO membership.

- Mrs. Irina, You were not seen in the politics after 2008 presidential elections. Does this mean that Sarishvili left the politics forever or only declined from political battles for a while?

- I took part in the presidential elections only for one reason. I needed a tribune to talk with people, and I had used this opportunity quite well. The impression that I returned to the politics was wrong one. In fact this was not the case. By my opinion only those are leaving the politics nowadays, who think that they are in politics. The events in the country for the 2-3 years cannot be named as political ones. They have nothing in common with politics. If only I have had the possibility, I would express my position more actively, and I would mobilize the part of a population, who shares this position. And I would say that the number of people on my side is groving day to day, not because of my efforts but unfortunately because, the fact that everything I said, appears to became truth. For this a financial and informational resources are necessary. If not promoted, at least, we should not be ignored from financial and informational institutions. Unfortunately this is the case; we faced ignorance from them. Consequently the wrong impression is developed - as if I am passive one. I would be very glad if I could find any oppositional party financially stronger then I am, who will be acceptable for me. But I cannot see such persons in politics. However I believe that a time of my activity will come soon.

- You did mentioned the finances ... is this a deciding factor for your inactivity?

- Not of course. Only finances are not a deciding factor. I would have had the same position, but from the outside it still will look like a passive one. Today one should be on one side or on the other. But the Georgian opposition is divided to the several parts, and I even do not remember who stopped where. For having an independent position, is not enough even to own a millions. If the local media will not show who is more active, who "is running faster", who is crying louder, then no millions will be of any assistance. I have ties with my combatants, politicians and I hope we will return soon.

- Mrs. Irina deriving the fact that You are not taking part in the elections, Your attitude to the elections will be very interesting, as a look of the person from outside, and as an impartial observer. What is Your prognosis - who will win the elections, and what changes might be expected for the country?

- I will not take part in these elections even as a voter, as for me everything is clear as a day. Opposition has had a big chance to win local elections in Tbilisi in case if they presented a common candidate. After the last parliamentary elections the rating of opposition fails considerably. But this happen not because the government is better, but because the opposition inwardly did everything to make Ugulava a City Mayor. Do we like it or not - Ugulava will become a Mayor, he is the only candidate who knows what he wants - to keep a post. No other candidate even did not plan to win and did not even dare to dream about it.

- You did mention the common candidate... Can you comment the radical attitude of oppositional parties to Zurab Nogadieli as to the traitor of the homeland (he was considered as a traitor because of his meetings with Putin, agreements with ‘Edinaya Rossia'), in fact the opposition did not choose a common candidate for elections on this ground - that any alliance with Nogaideli would be considered as a treason.
- Privately for me Nogaideli is unasseptable on the groung of his past background. And it does not matter is he a friend of UK Prime minister, or Putin... If the politicians consider that to take part in the elections will have a sense, then it is obvious as well that the aim cannot be reached with steps directed in opposite directions. Moreover I can understand those political forces who abstained from elections. But I cannot understand those oppositioners who teared MP's mandates in protest of falsification of elections, but are going to take part in local elections now. I have a question to them - what changed for this period? - the government has became better, or maybe the elections environment is more fair? What happen that these people had refused higher tribunes and mandates, but today are participating in local elections? What about Nogaideli, for me such type of politicians are inacceptable. For me is inacceptable politician who can subdue himself and own country to anybody, would it be USA, Russia of any other. I cannot say this is a trason, but this is an infidelity to principles. This is the same, what our government did. I can not see any difference between actions of Nogaideli and our government. I am sure the government of today did not refused in principle not Russia, neither USA.

- You mentioned Russia and USA... In the Georgian political area two main political blocks are - "National Forum" and "Alliance for Georgia". First of which is alleged in ties with Russian Federation and the second in ties with USA. At the same time the above mentioned organizations are accusing the parliamentary opposition in subordinance with the ruling team. Do you think that such mutual accusations will mislead the electorate and eventually, the "National Movement" will appear the only alternativeless choice?

- I myself would vote, if I see the alternative. But I am not seeing such alternative. What about the "Alliance" and Nogaideli, such mutual accusations against each other proved that they are representing two sides of the same coin, the same government. The government of today is acting under the Russian-USA plan, and the August war and everything what is happening now is a consistent part of the plan. One side of the Saakashvili's coin is Nogaideli and the other side is "Republicans". Irakli Alasania is representing nothing altogather, especially after he came closer to Nogaideli, and was punished for this as a baby and returned back. Alasania made a biggest mistake when he connected his activity with "Republicans". His rating was high enough unlike Burjanadze and Nogaideli to become a leader of united opposition. But now Alasania is a hostage of "Republicans".

- Your estimation of political parties not taking part in elections, and those taking the part.

- For me the position of political parties not participating in elections is clear (but not acceptable). I think that Burjanadze, not taking part in elections, acts more consistently, than any other politician, who is involved in elections race, Nogaideli for instance. However I am not inclined to Burjanadze as a politician. I have nothing to say as well about Shalva Natelashvili. He does not change. What about the political parties taking part in elections - the most consistent of them are "Christian-Democrates". They are fighting with authorities through elections and are coordinated more or less. From that point of view I understand its intention to take part in elections. I suppose at the same time that they succeeded through the governmental promotion (as a political party which was established only a few month ago counld not reach 9% and a second place in the elections). I think that Inga Grigolia has good chances to become a chairperson of Sakrebulo. Naturally Gia Chanturia will not become a City Mayor, but mabe he has own motivation. I would say that after the elections the situation will be a stable one. I will try to prepare for the next parlimentary elections seriously.

- Government and other oppositional parties are actively involved in searching of traitors among society and political spectrum. Zurab Nogaideli is a target from this posint of view.

- The government is starting to search traitors, when it wishes to distract the attention from main problem to the other subjects and to lay the blame on others. At the same time they did not care, does the enemy exist in fact or not. I wonder that Nogaideli is declared as an agent of Russian Federation. He was a member of its team and is one of the richest persons in Georgia. Thanks to this government he accumulated welth. If they wished to neutralize Nogaideli they will do it. At the same time Nogaideli is very timid person. Today he looks like a hero, but because behind him are Russian forces and as well Georgian government. Presently two variants of the development of events are possible: the first one is that in 99% the elections will be accomplished in favor of Ugulava. Some changes will be in local self governance bodies all over the country, especially in Tbilisi. The authorities will be saved till 2012, till parliamentary elections. The other scenario, which is les likely to happen (1%) - that Saakashvili will be oust from country, as if he is forced to leve the country by Russian Forces and Nogaideli will be for his replacement. But in such case Nogaideli has no chances. At the same time we can see a big difference in attitude towards him and to Burjanadze in the Russian political circles. Shortly, Nogaideli has no chances in any event.

- NDP actively searched for the traitors, they presented the list of them, and even You are enlisted there...

- It is natural that I was enlisted there. The people who made it I do not consider as a members of the party. The National Democratic Party is not its own property; it is not my property as well. The party was established by other people. In the future one of my aims will be the restoration of this party to the position which it has had previously, and the restoration of its dignity. What about the question that I am a taitor - this is propagation. Unfortunately some politicians are forgetting about own sins. It is clear that I never had any ties with the representatives of secret services of other countries. In any case I see myself different from Nogaideli, Saakashvili and "Republicans". I am for the good relations with Russia as well with USA, but unlike Saakashvili, Burjanadze and Nogaideli I do not wish my country as a satellite of any other state.

- What good relations with Russian Federation having occupied 20% of Georgian territory?

- Like it did Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan this is not an Armeny. It is impossible to consider Azerbaijan as a satellite of RF. Many years ago, when we talked about the neutrality, we did not mean the neutrality like in Switzerland. When we talk about neutrality we mean the neutrality like in Azerbaijan. It did not declare it officially, but it is making steps towards the neutrality. A counter argument for this are the oil which Azerbaijan has, at expence of which it balances the relations with RF and with USA. But in turn we have a geopolitical advantage and this is a resource no lesser then Azerbaijanian oil. Theoretically one can suppose that oil might be exhausted but the road - is a stable resource. However no authorities in Georgia exploited it properly...

- But Azerbaijan despite of its relations with Russia, did not decide its problem with Nagorni Karabakh...

- Indeed, they did not return Karabakh, but they as well did not loose anything else. And they did not allow anything like August of 2008 in Georiga. Azerbaijan conserved the problem in Karabakh and now it tries to use a people's diplomacy. This is not a case in our problem unfortunately.

- You was one of the first persons who upheld the idea of integration to NATO. It is truth that we loose a chance to enter NATO. Bosnia got a MAP, but our future in this direction is a vague one.
- We did not loose a chance for NATO membership, as we never had it. The authorities said that we should have an aspiration for NATO membership, and we have to make many consessions for this idea. In fact this is an agreement with USA about military bases on Georgian territory, but apparently this is not a NATO membership. Moreover such agreement is a worst side of NATO membership. In case if such plan happens we should appear in a very disadvantageous situation, if we would be named a NATO member. Our good geopolitical situation may become very dangerous, especially on the background of preparation of war between Iran and USA. Consequently Georiga will get from NATO the worst. It is to be noted that Georgia is a poligone for NATO and USA, which could be used once or more than once. Generally I was against NATO membership. But in fact nobody was going to accept us. In Georgia there should be no Russian no any other bases. I would like to note that no Abkhazia neither Samachablo will became member of RF, but we will not be NATO members as well.

Davit Qoqoshvili