TBILISI, DFWatch – The sudden attacked on an independent TV station in Tbilisi was carried out by an opposition politician from a party which was disintegrating the same day, following the advent of a popular newcomer.
The man behind the attack is the last remaining leader of a party called the Georgian Party. All his fellow leaders have left, after financier Bidzina Ivanishvili launched an opposition movement which has dwarfed all other opposition groups in the country.
One of the party’s former leaders, who also was a popular ombudsmann, announced that he is leaving the party almost simultaneously with the the drama outside Tbilisi’s independent Maestro TV.
The Georgian Party was launched in 2010 with an ambitious PR campaign. But the last few months, several leaders have left the party. Former ombudsman Sozar Subari said in his statement that it was the result of a series of accusations from his party colleagues who he says have accused him of being bribed.
The Georgian news was Wednesday dominated by Erosi Kitsmarishvili’s fence-jumping and break-in to the Maestro building and subsequent police siege. Georgian politicians and commentators have seen it as an attempt to close the independent TV station, because Kitsmarishvili isn’t allowing the journalist to carry on with their work.
Sozar Subari was Public Defender for several years after the rose revolution. At first he was seen by many as onboard with the government, but after his term expired he joined the team of Irakli Okruashvili, which was the figurehead of mass anti-government demonstrations in 2007, which were met with a hard-handed clamp-down by the government.
There has been an expectation that Subari would leave the party after billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili jumped into the political arena, eulogizing Subari and advising him to leave the party and come join him.
Until the very last day, Subari hesitated to make the decision. But yesterday he made an official statement about leaving the party in a live broadcast on Radio Palitra.
He said he left the party a long time ago, just didn’t make an official statement about it until now.
Subari didn’t wish to discuss his future plans.
His statement was soon followed by a statement by Georgian Party co-leader Irakli Okruashvili. He thinks that ‘Sozar Subari is hanging on to Kote Gogelia’s pocket and is dancing to the tune of who will pay him.’ Kote Gogelia is originally from Georgia, but living in Moscow. He was a supporter of the Georgian Party for some period.
‘[Sozar Subari] has freed himself of all responsibilities for the people who are sitting in jail for being faithful to the party or are expelled from the country,’ an official statement from the Geordian Party reads.
Subari later explained in a letter that Bidzina Ivanishvili said ‘his appearance has created a new reality and hope that the country will survive has returned, and trust in the political process too.’
‘Bidzina Ivanishvili has become a national hope and losing this hope is equal to sacrifice the country for long time,” Subari states, and calls for other Georgian Party members to acknowledge this.
Due to a confrontation with Irakli Okruashvili, Levan Gachechiladze earlier left the party. He was considered one of the leaders of the opposition and was the main opponent to Mikheil Saakashvili in the 2008 presidential elections. Koka Guntsadze, another key figure in the opposition, has also left the party.