Pre-Election Squabbles in Shida Kartli
During the pre-election campaign the United People’s Movement has visited almost all the villages in the Gori and Kaspi region. Koba Davitashvili headed this election campaign. Actually the regional coordinator of the headquarter is MP Teo Tlashadze, but nowadays Koba Davitashvili is taking over her duties. Davitashvili was met by people supporting the government and basically they expressed their dissatisfaction towards Teo Tlashadze. Koba Davitashvili was protecting Teo Tlashadze rather than introducing an election program.
The most successful region for the opposition leader was the Kaspi region. Davitashvili is originally from the village of Kavtiskhevi in the Kaspi region and that is why he was able to introduce the program of Levan Gachechiladze, the presidential candidate of united opposition, without being interrupted. Khatuna Tatanashvili, a member of the Republican Party, has noticed that the local security officers were chasing them. The police also checked the houses of those people who were visiting them: “Before our arrival the police officers were warning the population not to meet Davitashvili, otherwise they would be included in the special list of the intelligence service,” - stated Khatuna Tatanashvili.
His last visit was to the village Doesi. From Doesi he moved to the Gori region, in particular to Kvatiskhevi, his mother’s home village, and Upliscikhe. Koba Davitashvili started with the district where he spent much time during his childhood. He was mainly welcomed by his childhood friends and relatives. This district is called “Lekiant Ubani” and the residents promised support to Koba Dvitashvili.
During this meeting, an incident has happened. The people complained about Teo Tlashadze. Vano Nuskheladze has reminded the MP of the promises she made in 2004 when the governor was Mikheil Kareli. Teo Tlashadze promised the local population to reconstruct the gas pipelines: “We remember how the water pipelines were taken from the ground and you promised to provide our village with gas, but we are still without gas.” - they told Teo Tlashadze. The discussion nearly developed into a quarrel.
After, Davitashvili and Tlashadze moved to the village Skra. But even there the local population complained about Teo Tlashadze. A relative of Koba Kurtanidze, the late World Champion of judo, has reminded the MP of the words she spoke to them while asking them for assistance.
“When we asked her for help, he answered that Koba Kurtanidze’s health condition was not promising, thus they could not assist. Unfortunately these words belong to the MP,” - declared Kurtanidze’s sister.
At a meeting with regional journalists we asked Tina Khidasheli, one of the leaders of United People’s Opposition, for a comment on why they focused on Teo Tlashadze and on the team of Okruashvili in Gori, who together were authorized to coordinate their presidential candidate’s headquarters. According to Tina Khidasheli the decision was taken by the Council.
“I can tell you that Levan and Dato Berdenilshvili are completely responsible for the Adjara region. In our opinion their rating and authority will put obstacles on the way of the National Movement. The Samagrelo region will be headed by Koko Gamsakhurdia’s party Tavisupleba. Samtredia and Imereti will be headed by Zviad Dzidziguri, the leader of the Conservatives. Exactly in accordance with the above-mentioned principles we have chosen Teo Tlashadze,”-told us Tina Khidasheli.
The Labor Party is poorly represented in Shida Kartli. During a meeting of regional journalists we asked Shalva Natelashvili about Irakli Okruashvili and Mikheil Kareli. Natelashvili considers Irakli Okruashvili and Mikheil Kareli to be political prisoners and they should immediately be released. “We have applied to all international organizations and we also asked the German government not to extradite Okruashvili to Georgia and let him be seized by Saakashvili,”- stated Shalva Natelashvili.
The “Right Wings” consider that David Gamkrelidze, their presidential candidate, has great opportunities to win the election in Shida Kartli. The candidates for the presidential election are mainly representatives of the United People’s Movement, the former “Nationalists” (National Movement), thus with only Saakashvili and Okruashvili in mind, team Gamkrelidze does not have any real rivals,”-declares Mamuka Paniashvili, the leader of the Rights Wings in Gori.
Badri Patarkatsishvili is going to open his election headquarters as well. From the very beginning it was known that Patarkatsishvili’s headquarters will be headed by former judge Soso Sosiashvili. But Sosiashvili has not confirmed this information. According to Sosiashvili the headquarters will be opened by Ramaz Berianidze, a Kaspi resident.
This is the political spectrum of Shida Kartli. The situation is expected to change for the worse in the near future. The opposition is going to expose evidence concerning the use of administrative resources by the government and Mikheil Saakashvili, its presidential candidate.
Saba Tsiktsikashvili, Gori.