TBILISI, DFWatch – Irakli Alasania, the leader of the Free Democrats and front man of the strongest opposition bloc in Georgia, hits back at ‘fabrications’ spread by the country’s ‘government-controlled media’ about them being pro-Russian.
The Free Democrats and the Republican Party are the two groups billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili has formed a loose partnership with in preparation for next year’s parliamentary election.
The government has repeatedly accused them of being pro-Russian, in reports carried by the three national networks.
In a video appeal sent out by his press office, Alasania Thursday explained that the Ivanishvili bloc’s ‘firm position is that Georgia’s future is in NATO and the EU, and this position is not subject for review.’
DFWatch brings you the video and a transcript unchanged.
I am Irakli Alasania, the leader of the Free Democrats, and I thank you for finding the time to listen to me. From today, we will have the chance to hold discussions and talk about important issues of the country. But this will happen without the government-controlled media.
During the last weeks, groundless attacks have been leveled against my partners Bidzina Ivanishvili, Davit Usupashvili and me from the government-controlled media with national media about our positions on NATO integration, EU membership and relations with Russia.
I once more want to make clear the firm position of the Free Democrats and my partners that Georgia’s future is in the European family. We see the Georgian future in NATO, EU and this position is not the subject for review.
In addition, I also want to note that in relations with Russia we see pragmatism based on Georgian interests.
We really think that if in the future we want to become a European family member, NATO and EU member, first of all it’s necessary to strengthen Georgia’s own democratic institutions; to conduct free elections in Georgia. Georgia and the Georgian civil society really has this potential, and I believe that the next elections will be competitive, where the Georgian people without fear will freely choose the political forces in which it sees prospects for development.
I also want to mention the events, which we have witnessed in the Russian Federation. This is very important, that the Russian civil society, ordinary people decided, went out into the street and expressed their protest against a system which doesn’t give them the opportunity to make a free choice in Russia.
Very soon we also will have to make a very serious choice for the next parliamentary and presidential elections. I am sure that when our alliance will be announced the Free Democrats, Bidzina Ivanishvili, David Usupashvili and the other political partners, really will be able to ensure each of you that our goal first of all is to conduct competitive elections, which will be free for real and secondly, that the next parliament will be multi-party. The Georgian fate won’t rely on only one party and one person any more.
As for Russia and pragmatic relations with them, my interests are that our businessmen, Georgian business representatives, felt the way the Russian businessmen feel in Georgia. They have very big opportunities to do business. I am interested in Georgian business being able to gain a foothold in Russia. For us, our agriculture, our economy, it’s of course very important, and that’s why Georgia supported Russia’s WTO membership.
But I want to particularly underline that everything depends on the Georgian society. Many things depend on the next parliamentary and presidential elections. It’s important for each of us to have a one-day civic courage to go out on elections day and vote from the heart for that political force which we support. I am sure that Georgia has a great positive future. What the National Movement will do is not a question for now. The question is what will each citizen do, and if we all will have such courage I am sure that changes are inevitable, and I am sure Georgia will really be among the world’s best societies.
There will be changes in our country, and this will be positive changes. Despite what fabrications the controlled national media will spread, the truth will always win.
Thank you. Good bye.