Extracts from the response to Baramidze’s by opposition spokesman and former foreign minister, Tedo Japaridze, published by New Europe on 24 July 2012.

Tedo Japaridze was for a long time the Georgian Ambassador in Washington, serving there from 1994 -2002. In March 2002 he chaired the

Georgian National Security Council. His televised speech in that capacity in November 2003 at the height of the “Rose Revolution” probably

sealed the fate of the Shevardnadze government. Japaridze was appointed for a short time as Georgian foreign Minister after the revolution

but did not see eye to eye with many of the leaders that emerged after those events and was removed in March 2004.

He retains respect in key elements within the international community, particularly the US. In 2011 he became a member of the core team of

Bidzhina Ivanishvili’s party, and subsequently of the Georgian Dream coalition.

On the forthcoming elections

“My feeling is that the election has been stolen already, which is why the opposition has been treated the way it has. I expect the situation to escalate, and in this respect the summer will be really hard. But we are committed to political and constitutional ways. The government tries to engage us to street activities, but we are strictly committed to the constitutional path”.

On the Rose Revolution and its ideas

“Those of us who supported the Rose Revolution now feel really betrayed”, he says. “The current government have betrayed the values and principles of the revolution, which were supposed to be about a better future and hope for Georgia”.

On the agenda of the Georgian Dream Coalition

“[The agenda for the Georgian Dream Coalition] is not just to fight Saakashvili and be critical, but to fight for Georgia’s better future”. “My counter message is: let us have transparent elections. Let the citizens judge and decide”.

On the current Georgian Government

“[The current Georgian Government is a manipulative one. It is quite skilful at delivering messages that the west wants to hear, in Brussels, Berlin and Washington DC”. “Yes, I want [The Georgian Dream Coalition] to win the elections, but more than this, I want to live in a country where elections are lost by a party in power. This has never happened in Georgia”. On EU and Euro-Atlantic integration “[We]acknowledge that this government has done positive things in this area [but] before we talk about EU membership, we should be a normal, functioning democracy. For Georgia, European integration should be used for its internal processes first. It will be a long process”.