AJARIA MOVES TOWARD CONFRONTATION WITH TBILISI.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 122

At a three-day special congress, just held in Batumi, the All-Georgia Revival Union–the ruling party of Ajaria–unanimously decided to boycott the Georgian parliament. The party is Georgia’s second largest, holding approximately thirty seats in the Tbilisi parliament, and walked out of that chamber in April, but has until now deferred a final decision on a boycott. Revival will not return to Tbilisi “until President Eduard Shevardnadze resolves all the problems raised at this congress.”

Ajaria’s Supreme Soviet chairman and Revival leader Aslan Abashidze defined those problems in a way that makes them look intractable. He accused “Georgia’s leadership”–a term that seems to include Shevardnadze–of “incompetence,” of having “provoked” the recent fighting in Abkhazia and of undercutting Ajaria’s own autonomy. Abashidze and other speakers concentrated their fire at Georgia’s Parliament Chairman Zurab Zhvania, the governing Union of Citizens of Georgia (chaired by Shevardnadze) and leaders of the security forces in Tbilisi. Abashidze renewed charges that senior officials in Tbilisi plotted to assassinate him. (Russian agencies, June 22 and 23)

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