09TBILISI1055, GEORGIA: PROTESTS: GACHECHILADZE – SAAKASHVILI TO

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TBILISI1055 2009-06-08 15:00 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO3260
OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHNP RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHSI #1055/01 1591500
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 081500Z JUN 09
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1685
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TBILISI 001055 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/08/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL GG
SUBJECT: GEORGIA: PROTESTS: GACHECHILADZE - SAAKASHVILI TO 
MEET 
 
REF: TBILISI 1041 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN F. TEFFT.  REASONS:  1.4 (B) AND (D). 
 
1.  (C)  Summary:  More cells were taken down over the 
weekend of June 6-7 freeing Rustaveli Avenue in front of the 
Tbilisi Marriott.  Cells remain adjacent to Parliament and 
still block a portion of Rustaveli Avenue.  Protests were 
light over the weekend.  The non-parliamentary opposition is 
planning a larger rally on June 9 to commemorate two months 
of protesting.  Meanwhile, Vice Speaker Paata Davitaia (We 
Ourselves faction) told Polchief that a meeting between 
President Saakashvili and Levan Gachechiladze will take place 
on June 9, a planned meeting that has been mentioned by other 
prominent opposition and government contacts.  Davitaia said 
that among the non-parliamentary opposiion, there was broad 
support for Gachechiladze as the emerging leader, with Irakli 
Alasania (Alliance) as a notable exception.  End Summary. 
 
2.  (SBU)  Embassy Note:  Post will continue reporting 
regularly on the ongoing protests and events surrounding the 
protests.  However, this cable will be the last daily cable 
update.  Daily unclassified email updates (Tbilisi Update) 
will continue.  To subscribe to the daily unclassified 
update, please send an email to 
tbilisipoleconofficers@state.gov located in the GAL.  End 
Note. 
 
Davitaia Details Talks 
 
3.  (C)  Vice Speaker Paata Davitaia (We Ourselves faction) 
told Polchief that Levan Gachechiladze was planning to meet 
with President Saakashvili on June 9.  Davitaia said that 
Gachechiladze wanted to be Prime Minister but that 
Saakashvili would not agree.  (Embassy Note:  Deputy Foreign 
Minister Giga Bokeria told Ambassador the same on June 5. 
End Note.)  According to Davitaia, Gachechiladze was going to 
discuss earlier local elections (including direct elections 
for the mayor of Tbilisi) and possibly pre-term parliamentary 
elections.  Davitaia said that Irakli Alasania (Alliance) has 
not agreed to support Gachechiladze's role as leader of the 
opposition.  Davitaia alleged that Alasania's camp was again 
pushing rumors that he was America's preferred candidate. 
 
Non-Parliamentary Opposition Addresses Diplomats ... Again 
 
4.  (C)  Nino Burjanandze (Democratic Movement - United 
Georgia), Salome Zourabichvili (Georgia's Way), David 
Gamkrelidze (Alliance - New Rights), Levan Gachechiladze, Eka 
Beselia (United Georgia), and Alex Petriashvili (Alliance) 
addressed diplomats on June 5.  Ostensibly, the meeting was 
called to discuss the charter that the non-parliamentary 
opposition had signed.  None of the participants had prepared 
remarks and the meeting resulted in the leaders each 
addressing the diplomatic corps in a stream of consciousness 
fashion, hardly mentioning the charter.  In sum, the 
non-parliamentary opposition listed a number of grievances 
against Saakashvili and said that they would not stop 
protesting until Saakashvili resigned.  Zourabichvili 
announced that the non-parliamentary opposition would 
organize a massive rally on June 9 to commemorate two months 
of protesting.  No other plans, short or long term strategies 
were announced other than continuing protests. 
 
5.  (C)  In spite of the subdued reception from the 
diplomatic corps, non-parliamentary opposition leaders 
declared success.  Burjanadze told the press that "the 
ambassadors gained a very deep insight into the current 
Georgian political crisis."  Gamkrelidze said that the 
meeting reassured him of the correctness of their strategy 
Qmeeting reassured him of the correctness of their strategy 
saying that "we heard many interesting opinions" adding that 
"I (Gamkrelidze) am now convinced that our strategy is 
absolutely right."  Zourabichvili said that diplomats have 
changed their attitude and their call for dialogue "is more 
addressed to the authorities than opposition."  Differing in 
his perception of the meeting, the Estonian Ambassador told 
Poloff that the meeting was a colossal waste of time, and 
that he was tired of the repetitive calls for meetings. 
 
A Potential Warm Welcome for A/S Gordon 
 
6.  (C)  Cells were removed in front of the Tbilisi Marriott 
on Sunday afternoon now freeing up traffic on Rustaveli 
avenue except in front of Parliament and its side streets. 
Zourabichvili promised a warm welcome for A/S Gordon saying 
that "(t)he public must clearly express its protest against 
Saakashvili and his policy in view of the visit of A/S 
Gordon."  Zourabichvili said that protesters would march from 
Parliament to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the 
Prosecutor's office on June 9.  (Embassy Comment:  Staging a 
 
TBILISI 00001055  002 OF 002 
 
 
massive rally on June 9 on short notice and during the 
workweek strikes us as highly unlikely.  Turnout will likely 
be average or possibly a few thousand.  End Comment.) 
TEFFT

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