08TBILISI1072, AFTER ELECTIONS: BURJANADZE ANNOUNCES FOUNDATION,

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08TBILISI1072 2008-06-23 04:59 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO0640
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHSI #1072/01 1750459
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230459Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9671
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001072 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CARC 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KDEM GG
SUBJECT: AFTER ELECTIONS: BURJANADZE ANNOUNCES FOUNDATION, 
OPPOSITION TAKES BREAK 
 
REF: A) TBILISI 963, B) TBILISI 1021 
 
1. Summary: On June 17, former Parliamentary Speaker Burjanadze 
announced she is establishing a think-tank called the "Foundation 
for Democratic Development."  Burjanadze said she sees her 
foundation not as a purely analytical, apolitical think-tank, but 
rather as a "new way for her to participate in politics."  On June 
17, the United National Council of Opposition (UNC) announced it 
will "take a time-out" and recess for the summer to make future 
plans.  The Labor party followed the lead of the UNC and their MPs 
submitted their letters of resignation to Parliament (ref B), 
requesting their mandates be cancelled.  Giorgi Targamadze's 
Christian Democratic Movement (CDM) is attending its first 
Parliamentary session on June 20.  During the same session, UNM 
Majoritarian MPs created a parliamentary faction called 
"Majoritarians - Georgian Regions."  End Summary. 
 
2. Comment: Burjanadze's announcement was expected (ref A).  It will 
take some time to see what success her foundation can build.  The 
UNC's decision to stand down has also been coming for several weeks. 
 Whether or not a more cohesive organization and message will emerge 
from the opposition group in September remains to be seen.  Labor's 
and the CDM moves were also expected (ref B).  In its first three 
sessions, Parliament has primarily been addressing housekeeping 
matters.  End comment. 
 
Burjanadze Announces New Foundation 
----------------------------------- 
 
3. During a live TV interview with the Georgian Public Broadcaster 
on June 17, Nino Burjanadze broke her two-month long silence and 
announced (as predicted, ref A) she is establishing a think-tank 
called the "Foundation for Democratic Development."  Offering 
balanced criticism of the government and opposition in 
post-revolutionary Georgia, Burjanadze alleged there is much talk 
about existing problems in Georgia but little being done to solve 
them.  Burjanadze said her foundation will provide expert analysis 
of problems and generate recommendations for solutions.  She expects 
her foundation to be very inclusive, representing people with 
different backgrounds and ages. 
 
4. Burjanadze said she sees her foundation not as a purely 
analytical, apolitical think-tank, but rather as a "new way for her 
to participate in politics."  Focusing on the immediate tasks of 
recruiting supporters and financial contributions, Burjanadze did 
not deny having future political ambitions and said she will speak 
about her political plans later.  Media and political reaction to 
Burjanadze's announcement has been mild.  Neither the opposition nor 
ruling party expect her to actively participate in politics anytime 
soon. 
 
United Opposition Takes a Break 
------------------------------- 
 
5. On June 17, the United Opposition Council (UNC) announced it will 
"take a time-out" and recess for the summer to make future plans. 
The decision came at a UNM meeting at the New Rights' party 
headquarters, which turned into a birthday party for New Rightist 
David Saganelidze.  As news cameras rolled, UNC leaders toasted 
Saganelidze, his "personal freedom" as a bachelor, and the UNC's 
"freedom" gained by boycotting parliament and refusing to 
participate in government.  Earlier, the UNC discussed establishing 
an opposition Political Center to "monitor" Parliament.  The UNC 
said it would not consult with other political parties now, and the 
Political Center will be closed to the Christian Democrats and 
others who join Parliament. 
 
6. The UNC adopted a 5-point memorandum submitted by Freedom Party 
leader Konstantine Gamsakhurdia.  The memo called for a new UNC 
structure, cancellation of the three-member political council, 
moving the UNC offices from the New Rights' headquarters, and 
changing the UNC into an umbrella organization for all of the 
opposition.  Gamsakhurdia also demanded a review of the 1992 ouster 
of his father (former President Zviad Gamsakhurdia) and 
investigation of Eduard Shevardnadze's role in it.  Jovial UNC 
members said Gamsakhurdia was too busy to stay for the party, and 
the memorandum could not be considered in his absence.  On 
television, they seemed more interested in the party anyway. 
 
Labor Cancels Party List, 
Turns in Mandates 
------------------------- 
 
7. On June 18 Labor party MPs followed the lead of the UNC and 
submitted their letters of resignation to Parliament (ref B), 
requesting their mandates be cancelled.  Though the format of the 
letter was not technically correct -- it referred to Parliament as 
the UNM headquarters and to Speaker David Bakradze as the head of 
said headquarters -- it was accepted and the Parliament's Procedural 
Committee will make a decision on the request within 7 days. 
 
TBILISI 00001072  002 OF 002 
 
 
 
Christian Democrats Enter Parliament 
------------------------------------ 
 &
#x000A;8. Giorgi Targamadze and his Christian Democrats will attend their 
first Parliamentary session on June 20, as most of the issues 
incorporated in their memorandum (ref B) are to be discussed and 
voted upon.  Targamadze said that the new Parliament and election 
results did not reflect the real mood of society, but his party 
deems it more effective to continue their political struggle in 
Parliament than outside it.  Vice-Speaker Mikheil Machavariani 
welcomed the Christian Democrats' decision and said dissent in 
Parliament is a positive sign. 
 
Majoritarian MPs Create Faction 
------------------------------- 
 
9. UNM Majoritarian MPs created a parliamentary faction called 
"Majoritarians - Georgian Regions" during the June 20 session.  Gogi 
Liparteliani will lead the new faction of 17 members (second largest 
after the UNM faction). 
 
TEFFT

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