Sing it Loud: A New Player on the Political Stage


Georgian politics is awaiting the world’s bass. The renowned opera singer Paata Burchuladze is ready to exchange the world opera scene into a political tribune and has already taken the first steps on his way. While his surname has been removed from the 2016 events calendar of La Scala, Covent Garden and the Metropolitan Opera and all of his concert contracts have been canceled, 2016 is marked as his governmental year on the Georgian political calendar. What the political party of the world’s operatic bass will look like, will be revealed in autumn, but before that Burchuladze invites his supporters to join the Development Fund of Georgia.

The appearance of new faces in politics is always connected with new hopes and expectations. This is the case with Burchuladze, too. It isn’t unlikely that he will become the hope of those 45% of voters, who, in the last survey by NDI, stated they do not support any of the active political parties. To put it simply, practically, the power today lays in the street and nobody’s there to take it. Based on his personal rating and authority, Burchuladze really does have serious perspective among those who have the ambition to influence the current events taking place in the country. The opera singer has been engaged in charity for years. Burchuladze founded the international charity fund Iavnana with the slogan “Let’s save the future together” in 2004, stating the provision of shelter for orphans and unprivileged children as its mission.

It was believed for years that Burchuladze had the support and was the favorite of the Georgian Orthodox Church, by which we mean the scheme with which Bidzina Ivanishvili came to power in 2012 and kicked out the government of Saakashvili. The opinion of experts on the issue of whether history will be repeated varies. Expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze finds it unlikely that Paata Burchuladze will come to state power and thinks that he will not be able to substitute Ivanishvili. While the political analyst Soso Tsintsadze states that the name Paata Burchuladze can accumulate a certain level of finances, though insufficient, as Burchuladze is surrounded by a total collapse and that society is not so enthusiastic about individuals who desire to become part of the great construction of a new political project.

It should be noted that Burchuladze’s name was also heard in politics in 2013 when the leader of Georgian Group Jondi Bagaturia named him among the possible presidential candidates. At that time, the singer refrained from opposing Georgian Dream, while Jondi Bagaturia was soon found in alliance with the pro-Russian oriented political power of Nino Burjanadze. Whether Burchuladze will be found in direct opposition of Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream this time is not yet clear, however, the signs of a standoff are evident.

It is obvious that the segment of electors of Georgian Dream are the same for Burchuladze and that they are competitors. It is hard to believe that the ideological supporters of the National Movement will move into Burchuadze’s camp. Therefore, it is the Georgian Dream and the organizations moving around its orbit that Burchuladze’s political union will get the votes from. If Burchuladze’s newly created fund really turns into a party, the need for strengthening its political component will soon become a necessity, whether those people who Burchuladze already presented will be on the list or not, be it the former advisor of President Margvelashvili, Vano Machavariani, or the political analyst Khatuna Lagazidze.

The need to bring new people to the foreground is already apparent. To put it mildly, today’s composition is insufficient for attaining serious political goals. Thus, it should be substituted. The question is who will these ‘new faces’ that Burchuladze needs to bring to the front be? Alasania, whom he has already had talks with? Or Inashvili, Burjanadze, or Natelashvili? Or someone else entirely?

Zaza Jgharkava

03 December 2015 21:22