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Irakly Alasania, former Georgian ambassador to the United Nations, is beginning to look at the Georgian presidency.
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Dec. 08, 2008
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Georgian Opposition from New York
A new opposition force is about to emerge in Georgia to challenge President Mikheil Saakashvili and the ruling United National Movement. The opposition Republican Party and New Right plan to announce the formation of a bloc, which can demand early parliamentary and presidential elections, says New Right leader David Gamkrelidze. The bloc may be led by Irakly Alasania, who just gave up his post as ambassador to the United Nations. He is one of the most popular politicians in the country.
In the interests of the country, the current authorities have to be removed as soon as possible, Gamkrelidze told Kommersant. He added that Alasanias role in the new bloc would be defined in the near future. This marks a shift in the oppositions relations with the Saakashvili regime. During and immediately after the August war, the opposition supported official Tbilisi for the sake of national interests. The first sign of the change was when former speaker of the parliament Nino Burjanadze presented Saakashvili with a list of questions about the military operation in South Ossetia, after which she came to be seen as a likely successor to Saakashvili.

Alasania is no less likely attractive a candidate for president. The 35-year-old former ambassador has close ties with the United States. Besides being UN ambassador since 2006, he was second secretary of the Georgian UN embassy from 1999 to 2001. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Matthew Bryza, who is in charge of U.S. policy in the Caucasus, has called him a personal friend. Alasania also has good relations with Abkhazia, in spite of the fact that his father, Gen. Mamia Alasania, died there during the war in the early 1990s. Irakly Alasania led the pro-Georgian Abkhazian government in exile from September 2004 to March 2006 and held talks with Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba in that capacity. Alasania was last in Sukhumi in the spring of this year. Shamba told Kommersant that Irakly Alasania is one of the few Georgian politicians whom we trust and with whom we could deal with on any level of relations.

Alasania is expected to arrive in Tbilisi on December 10. Many say the dismissals of Georgian foreign minister Eka Tkeshelashvili, defense minister David Kezerashvili and secretary of the Security Council Alexander Lomaya were intended to draw attention away from the resignation of the popular Alasania. President Saakashvilis decision to remove those ministers from their posts has no other logic, commented independent expert Georgia Khukhashvili.

All the Article in Russian as of Dec. 08, 2008

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