Civil Georgia, Georgia
March 12 2006


New Opposition Party Holds Inaugural Assembly


The political party of ex-Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili -
`Georgia's Way' held its inaugural assembly on March 12. MP Gia
Tortladze became the chairman of the party's political council. MP
Tortladze is a member of the Democratic Front parliamentary faction,
which also unites MPs from opposition Republican and Conservative
parties.

Addressing up to 2000 supporters gathered in the Philharmonic Hall in
Tbilisi Salome Zourabichvili said that currently the country faces
two major threats: return back to pre-Rose Revolution period and, as
she put it `revolutionism.'

`We do not need any more revolutions... Democracy will celebrate and I
will be very happy if the government change will occur through free
and fair elections,' Zourabichvili said.

She also said there are signs that promises of Rose Revolutions have
been forgotten by the authorities. `We see a `a team of
neo-Shevardnadzists' in the Parliament,' Zourabichvili said referring
to the ruling National Movement party.

The leader of Georgia's Way also criticized the Interior Ministry for
a high-handed tactics and a failure to protect `personal security' of
ordinary citizens.

`Culture has always been a pillar of [Georgia] and not the police, or
any other structures as claimed by some politicians,' Zourabichvili
said referring to the statements made by influential parliamentarians
from the ruling party who described the Interior Ministry and
Minister Vano Merabishvili as a `pillar of stability' in Georgia.

Zourabichvili also said that Georgia needs `the strong army.' `But
not because we should go into war,' she added.

She also said that we should respect each citizen of Georgia. `We
forget the meaning of this word: citizen. Yesterday I head all day
through while listening [news] about Tsalka incident: Armenians,
Armenians. Who are they? They are Georgian citizens and the problem
is that the citizens are protected neither in Tsalka, nor in
Tbilisi,' Zourabichvili said.