Zviad Dzidziguri: the main for Georgia is a regulation of relations with Russia

About respondent

Zviad Dzidziguri, candidate for City Mayor believes that opposition has a chance to win local elections if voters participation will be high enough in Tbilisi. In case of winning elections he promised electorate to appoint early parliamentary and presidential elections at "the same day". It is worth to be noted that repetition of Bishkek scenario is not expected any more. Dzidziguri considers that the only way left for opposition for change of the government is elections. GHN interviewed Zviad Dzidziguri, candidate for City Mayor post from National Council.

- Several days left till local selfgovernance elections, what estimations could you give to the preelections environment? What chances has the opposition for winning?

- For the preelections campaign it is very important how fairly the time is allocated in the information space for the opposition. The National Council counted the amount of time given for each candidate in information on the different TV channels, and find out that the situation is a catastrophic one. For the last 10 days the TV Company Rustavi2 allocated for Gigi Ugulava, governmental candidate - 12 minutes and 45 seconds, for Zviad Dzidziguri - 1 minute and 03 seconds. This is a discrimination. Candidates are given unequal preelections conditions, and even despite this I believe, if City population will decide to take part in elections, the government will have less chances to win elections. During the presidential elections, when Levan Gachechiladze balloted in Tbilisi, half a million people left the National Movement and Saakashvili was defeated. City population can do this again, if they will take this decision to vote. Then we will immediately replace the existing government through early parliamentary and presidential elections.

- But the lobby interviews show that the posts of City Mayor and Sakrebulo chairman are already given for particular persons, namely, Gigi Ugulava will be a City Mayor and a Chairperson of Sakrebulo Inga Grigolia, candidate from Christian Democrats...

- I cannot say exactly, this will be the case, but no doubt that government has own scheme for elections. However what situation will be in fact this will decide the City population. 120- 150 thousand votes has a government including closed elections points, faked votes, army, police and all administrative resource. But if in Tbilisi 400 500 thousand people will take part in elections in such case the opposition can win. Consequently everything depends upon last days and activity of Tbilisi population.

- What methods will be used against fake voting by National Council?

- Fake in elections is not a small private process, this is a massive process. As soon as falsification will be started we will start protest actions, we will protest to defend out votes.

- But if you will take into account that for the last period activity of population in the protest actions was much diminished. Do you think that opposition will be able to attract again people to the streets?

- The falsification of elections touches all people and all are obliged to protest. For this, thousand of people protested on the Hippodrome, as at that time elections were faked and people were abused. What about the protest action on Giorgoba, many people gathered at the metro station Varketili, about 2000-2500. This was quite a number of people for such type of actions, as very few courageous people can take part. We were not expected that there 50 thousand people will gather, as we know that in such type of protest actions only a few people may take part but not the mass. When we declared a protest action in front of the Police Department, it is natural that not all Tbilisi population would gather there, but only those who are in avant-garde. And it does not matter if there was a lack of amount of people, the main is that the general mood in Georgia was - the May 6 and the November 23 - the Giorgoba Holyday never will became a day of celebration for Vano or Misha.

- On May 6, at the protest action, in front of City Hall Goga Khaindrava incorrectly expressed himself, would it affect the rating of opposition negatively?

- It is difficult to say. It is not my business what Khaindrava will say. He has own viewpoints, emotions and temperament and he acts accordingly. It is natural when the protest actions are emotional one, some will express himself as he can, but this does not mean that all opposition has to make apologizes for Khaindrava's words. This can happen with anybody, anybody could say something in a moment emotionally and afterwards will regret about this, and never say this in other situation. This does not mean anything. I am sure that Tbilisers did understand the situation properly.

- But at that evening you did used a firearm...

- I will not allow to anybody to enter my home without permission. Would it be drunken activists of a National Movement or journalists. My home is my privacy. And nobody has a right to enter my intimate environment, my home. So, I have a right for firearm bearing, and if the attempt to my privacy will be repeated I will do this again. I used the firearm properly last time and calmed the aggressive situation. What about the journalists, they entered the garden over closed doors at 02:30 midnight. Climbed my balcony, directed the cameras into rooms and during a half an hour ringed at the door. My 5 small children were weakened up. They have had no right to do this. I always tried to be correct with journalists, but I am not advising to anybody to invade my home at 02:30 midnight.

- For the last period of time Georgian politicians are forcing our Patriarch to be involved in a political process. Was it proper when you used his image in preelections advertising video? Did you have had a blessing from him for such actions?

- I am not dragging our Patriarch to the political processes. I would like to calm down everybody and to say that this material I obtained from the Patriarchy. This is a film of the blessing of a Church, which I built in a prison, the Church which "destroyed the prison". And today there is a Monastery of St. George. So, this is not a casual film with Patriarch for my pre elections campaign. He as well is a godfather of my children, he has close relations with me, and if he considers that my actions are not proper, then he can say me privately, or anybody from Patriarchy can say me about this. If this is a problem I will remove this film. Patriarch knows very well how to put everybody on its place. To this pre elections film 3 main ideas were underlined: my family, my political activity and my attitude towards Patriarch and Church. Here is not any fake. You can make sure about this if you go to Avchala Church, which I had built with my own hands when I was a prisoner. Or you can come to my homeland in Samtredia region where I am constructing a Church which will open next year.

- Please explain what does mean "the results are huge" - what do you mean, what results did reach the opposition?

- Not opposition, but people reached. They had seed that in fact they can stand together to change a situation in the country. Today we have the same problem when the people have to take a decision. We have to fight and not to stop till the victory. It is truth that we did not reached early parliamentary elections after May 26, but we have to continue our fight. People know this very well. We cannot lie down and do nothing.

- "Saakashvili will even dream about Bishkek" - this is your phrase. What are going to do in the National Council, are they preparing for Bishkek scenario?

- What happen in Bishkek is very bad we have not to allow such events. When we are saying that we will defend our votes this mean that we are going to fight with political methods. In Bishkek the government has no understanding with people; it was in deep corruption and throughout the country only own clans were promoted. There was a deep ape between people and authorities, this invoked a confrontation. The Georgian government is very close to Kirgizian government with such parameters. But people in Georgia are quite different. People believe that the authorities have to be replaced through elections. That's why when we are not going further where the peace ends; this is considered by journalists and people as our fault. When we are telling that we did not wish s bloodshed - You say that we had a lack of brave. When we say that we can make more radical steps - you reply that we are for "Bishkekisation". So, you yourself have to think what you are demanding from politicians. If you want a peaceful legal ways, do not incite us for confrontation. You should determine what you wish.

- But the opposition himself is it determined what it wishes?

- I cannot talk on behalf of all opposition but, I advise the population to vote. The only way which can lead to the replacement of existing government is an elections. Do not be lazy to come to the eletions points. Saakashvili will have less chance to fake elections, and we will be given a chance to change the government. No other ways to change the government exist.

- Mr. Zviad, is it truth that the oppositional figure Nogaideli was created to discredit the opposition. If not the cooperation with him, Zviad Dzidziguri would have had higher rating...

- Our cooperation with Nogaideli is derived from our common visions. These visions are the regulation of relations with Russian Federation. Nogaideli has paved the way to Russia. The theme was tabooed for a long period of time, but now this question became a subject of open discussion - the relations with Russia have to be revised. This is to be regarded as a merit of Nogaideli and we as well were involved in this process partially. Despite everyone were declared as a traitors, who dares to say something about restoration of relations with Russia we did it. Georgia has no other choice.

- For the celebration of May 9 Nogaideli was not invited to Moscow as a honored guest. However we have seen Nino Burjanadze, former parliamentary chairperson at the side of Putin. Do you think Kremlin left out of play Nogaideli and choose Burjanadze.

- I am less interested, who was chosen by Kremlin, I wished Georgia has chosen the way of regulation of relations with Russia. It does not matter who was invited to Kremlin. But the today's Russian government will rule for 20 years. Then we should to postpone our question for another 20 years. If so, after 20 years Georgia may not exist at all. Because of this I think our government has to start negotiations with Russia. But if they cannot do this, this is not a problem. After its resignation the other government will negotiate with Russia. Other ways Georgia has no perspectives. This was evident on May 9, when Polish, UK, France and USA army marched along the Red Square. Did you think about this. ... What can we do in a position of offended person? We cannot not to notice Russia. It does exist and it has serious interests in the South of Caucasus and the consequences of its interests are shown to us every month... How can we ignore this, when you are a head of the country, politician or journalist?

- How do you think the occupied territories return after the restoration of relations with Russia?

- The restoration of territorial integrity by my vision is very simple one. We have to talk directly with Abkhazians and Ossetians. We should leave for a while the questions of political status, we have to talk about economic, cultural and social problems, about common problems - geographical problems, territorial Caucasus problems and to start working with them in this direction first. After the August events everything has became more problematic, but the restoration of the railway from Abkhazia to Russia will soften the relations with all regions. In such case, our former autonomies, which now are aspired for independence, will talk with our government. It was the case; when the Ergnety bazaar worked out, the relations between Ossetians and Georgians became more soften. This was an advantageous measure as for Georgians as well for Russians and Ossetians. In Abkahzia the same projects have to be released other wise it is unimaginable to live. There is not other ways. In such case, we should remain in the constant confrontation. And at the same time with clear understanding that we cannot do anything against them till Russia stands behind them.

- But Russia has lied to Georgia many times, while the period of softening of relations...

- Yes, but how many times USA and Europe cheated Georgia? If one will allow, then everybody will cheat. Because all have only own interests. But we have to defend our interests. For this, for not to be cheated one should stay alert constantly for defense of own homeland. This is a task of the government.

- Russia declared NATO as a danger for a state. Do you think that we have to revise the question of NATO membership for sake of relations with Russia?

- For Russia this problem does not exist anymore, as Georgia's NATO membership question was decided when the NATO army marched along the Red Squire. Who will allow Georgia to enter NATO? It is unknown when Georgia will enter NATO, when will it happen. But in politics this is a main question. Russia may enter sooner to NATO, than Georgia. The theme of NATO is a fairy tale for fools. Georgia has no chances for NATO membership. We should have to face truth.

- Does the National Council have plans for cooperation with "Representative Public Gathering"?

- We will cooperate inevitably. This is a very good idea. This idea existed before May 26 last year. Unfortunately the project was not realized. This is an idea which has to be worked out. This is a novelty in politics.

Tamar Mamukashvili