Georgian Politicians Slam Nino Burjanadze for Visiting Moscow

Georgian politicians from both the ruling Georgian Dream (GD) and opposition parties slammed Nino Burjanadze, the leader of non-parliamentary opposition party Democratic Movement, for her recent visit to Russia.

During the two-day visit in Moscow, Burjanadze held meetings with politicians and representatives of the media.

Since the Georgian Parliament failed to approve the new election law, which would have introduced a full proportional system to the country, Nino Burjanadze, together with the United Opposition, has been taking part in protests to demand proportional elections.

Burjanadze even joined the format created by the opposition forces regarding the election system, which unites various parliamentary and non-parliamentary parties.

Tako Charkviani, the leader of the party Law and Justice, announced that because of Burjanadze’s visit to Moscow, she has quit the joint format established by the opposition. However, Charkviani says she will stay as a member of the United Opposition and continue asking for the proportional electoral system.

“I continue demanding proportional elections. I like the German model we all [opposition] worked on together. I am in favor of the protests and I remain the participant of all the rallies. But I am not going to sit together with Burjanadze who is accountable before Putin and lies to my people,” Charkviani said, adding the visit seriously damages Georgia’s image. She added that Burjanadze went to Russia to ask for funding for her party.

David Usupashvili, ex-Parliament Speaker and now the leader of the opposition party Development Movement, says that he does not approve of Burjanadze’s move, but “every party has their plans and activities which no one should hinder.” Usupashvili noted that the opposition is united in demanding fair elections and differences in other issues should not affect their common goal.

“All political forces and parties, in parallel, continue to take political steps, focusing on the topics that they previously did, and visit the countries which they used to visit before. I do not think that we should create any obstacle to this on the road to unity in our quest for fair elections,” he added.

Meanwhile, Giga Bokeria, head of the political council of European Georgia, says that uniting the opposition does not mean that their political views have changed. He explained that all the parties knew before creating the format that Burjanadze sometimes visits Moscow.

“The opposition parties united at one table differ in fundamental values, yet they share the common goal of holding proportional elections. We are as we were before and everyone knows that,” he said, adding that the “informal ruler of Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili,” is the reason the opposition has united around the one goal – fair elections.

GD ruling party faction head, Mamuka Mdinaradze, says that Burjanadze’s actions require no comment, adding everything is clear.

“These parties are so called pro-Western or pseudo-western forces, which once gave our territories to Russia and then justified this action. They now are sitting with Nino Burjanadze and setting common goals. They seem to have difficulty finding their way to the neighboring country and they cannot properly explain it,” said Mdinaradze.

Gigla Baramidze, political secretary of the United Georgia-Democratic Movement, explains that Burjanadze's visit to Moscow was planned about a month and a half ago and is not related to the current developments in Georgia. According to him, Burjanadze will speak about the details of her visit after returning to Georgia.

“As for the political forces with whom we sit at one table, we only discuss with them one issue – the proportional elections. It is just this issue that connects us, because we have very different visions in every direction, especially with some political forces,” he said.

Baramidze added that the temporary union of the opposition has its coordinator, who was informed about Burjanadze’s visit to Moscow.

“Several opposition leaders were also aware of this visit. Everyone should understand that no one has the right to prohibit us anything. We do not go there [Moscow] to have fun, but to discuss issues,” he added.

This is not Burjanadze’s first visit to Russia. The leader of the Democratic Georgia has always claimed that in order to solve the problem of the occupied territories, the Georgian government needs to have ongoing dialogue with Russia.

By Tea Mariamidze

Photo: Nino Burjanadze, source: Flickr

05 December 2019 16:18