Georgian politicians from the ruling party, and the opposition, echoed a statement by the US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan that pointed at the lack of courage among the political players in Georgia to compromise to resolve the political crisis.
We should all understand, the country and the people suffer the most, as we are not focused on their real problems. Disagreement and political crisis are everyone’s fault, leader of the Citizens opposition parliamentary party Aleko Elisashvili echoed the statement of US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan aired by the Georgian Public Broadcaster last night.
According to the MP, some politicians are hostages of their own ambitions.
“Georgian politicians should be very ashamed after Georgia’s friends tell us that compromise is not a weakness, and ask to put the country above party interests, look at the future with more responsibility, instead of letting Russia laugh and wipe its hands with your stubbornness,” Elisashvili added.
MP Elisashvili noted the arrival of the European Council President Charles Michel’s special representative Christian Danielsson is promising.
“I do not know which side will compromise, but I know what should happen. We have to finish the five-month torturing of this country and agree,” Aleko Elisashvili said.
Strategy Aghmashenebeli opposition party said it would take part in the negotiations. Both sides should be ready for mutual compromise, otherwise the agreement cannot be reached, Sergo Chikhladze said.
According to him, Georgia’s European and American partners say that the government has more leverage to successfully complete the talks.
“The Georgian Dream did not even submit a proposal on any issue during the last round. It is not only about the early elections and political prisoners, but also about the court and the electoral system. Those pre-agreed issues were taken back by the authorities,” Sergo Chikhladze said.
Grigol Gegelia from the Lelo party stresses the opposition knows very well that Georgia needs a multi-party, well-functioning parliament, but this cannot happen at the expense of fraud. According to Gegelia, the ambassador’s message regarding the compromising spirit was addressed to the Georgian Dream, because the opposition has this spirit.
“It is necessary to see a very specific way, how to get out of the crisis, only the call will not help us,” Vakhtang Megrelishvili, a member of Girchi party, said in response to the statement of the US Ambassador to Georgia, Kelly Degnan.
The United National Movement member Levan Bezhashvili said the government should demonstrate the political courage and responsibility to offer the opposition the proposals that will be the basis for a solution.
As a follow-up to the US Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s comments about the negotiations between the government and the opposition, Bezhashvili commented the first round of talks failed because the government was unable to submit some debated proposals.
“Political courage means that the government will take responsibility for the mechanisms to resolve this crisis and the made proposals. We have shown we are ready to compromise if the core values that are in the public interest are maintained. These are easing the political crisis, early parliamentary elections and the release of political prisoners,” Bezhashvili stated.
The other UNM member Salome Samadashvili echoed the idea of compromise saying the UNM is ready to participate in talks without any preconditions as soon as their party Chairman Nika Melia is released.
“There is a room for compromise regarding the way we get to the early elections,” Samadashvili declared.
Another opposition leader from the Lelo party Badri Japaridze said they have high expectations for the involvement of strategic partners and their increasing pressure on the government.
According to him, the opposition will hold peaceful rallies if the ruling Georgian Dream continues destructive actions. Japaridze believes this is the Georgian Dream that does not allow parties to reach a political agreement and continue working in parliament.
“Of course, Ambassador Degnan is very actively involved in these processes. Unfortunately, the Georgian Dream still does not allow us to reach a political agreement and continue working in the parliament. We and our friends want to be able to continue working in Parliament. This requires agreement on key issues. These are issues raised by President Michel and negotiated for several months now. Unfortunately, we could not reach a political agreement due to the stubbornness and non-state attitudes of the Georgian Dream,” said Badri Japaridze.
The Labour Party sounded much radical than the others.
“The call to enter the parliament and accept the rigged elections, will not work out,” said Giorgi Gugava, a member of the Labor Party. He believes holding new elections and the release of political prisoners is the only way out of the crisis.
The ruling party reacted to the US Ambassador and the opposition statements on the issue.
“Kelly Degnan’s words once again confirm that the Georgian Dream had offered a proposal in the negotiations that contained the resources for the agreement, said Guram Macharashvili, First Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Procedural Issues of the Parliament of Georgia.
He believes that was the reason for the US Ambassador to call on those political forces that did not dare to escape the bullying coming from the United National Movement.
According to Irakli Kadagishvili, Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Procedural Issues, compromise means bringing positions closer and not giving up the mandate given by the people. He believes the government has taken many compromise steps, but he cannot reveal those steps as agreed with the mediators.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs Anri Okhanashvili stated he appreciates the support of the United States and the European Union to the political parties in converging their views. He says the government is as ready as possible for compromises. At the same time, Okhanashvili says, opposition groups should be able to move away from narrow party interests.
“The rallies announced by the opposition emphasize and reveal their real goals. They do not wish to negotiate but to hold a rally. If they have expectations and want an agreement, then this agreement should be reached very soon,” the ruling party MP said.
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan said political parties in Georgia need to have the political courage to take these difficult steps forward. They need to understand that compromise is not a sign of weakness, Kelly Degnan made this statement in the TV Program Kviris Interview (Interview of the Week) on the Georgian Public Broadcaster on Wednesday.