Learning from Past Mistakes?


The pre-election campaign will start on June 8 and last until midnight on October 8. Voting will begin at 8am on October 8.

There is one month left until political parties can enter the ‘game’, but apparently the opposition have already set off, with the United National Movement (UNM) announcing street protests aimed at ex-premier Bidzina Ivanishvili and his construction projects, the Free Democrats’ complaining against the famous ‘cable case’ and General Prosecutor Irakli Shotadze, while the non-parliamentary opposition threatens to protest the election code. One wonders whether the many protestors will unite against the ruling government and if they do, when?

The weight of protests is becoming more intense can be felt even in the political talk-shows. However, it is the actions of the government that matter more than the threats of the opposition, as it meets all with Olympian serenity. Political analysts say the governmental mood resembles that of the pre-Rose Revolution period, when Shevardnadze’s government acted as if nothing was wrong while the situation went from bad to worse.

“Perhaps the government is taking into consideration the mistakes made in Shevardnadze’s era. However, the impression is that nobody in the government is thinking about anything and other than a single man – Bidzina Ivanishvili, who came in the name of a Messiah,” said political analyst Soso Tsintsadze in his interview with the newspaper Rezonansi. Gia Khukhashvili, former analytical adviser of the government, also predicts the revolutionary development of processes. However, he thinks that the street rallies will take place not before, but after the elections: “It is highly likely that even those entities opposing each other will come out to the streets in protest to question the legitimacy of the elections. The government might face a crisis that is hard to overcome. In the midterm elections they had difficulties managing even one election district (Sagaredjo), so imagine managing the volume of Sagaredjo district multiplied by 75,” said Khukhashvili.

Whether the roses will bloom in autumn and the predictions by analysts prove true depends heavily on the unity of the opposition- something which can already be excluded at this stage. It is truly hard to imagine that pro-Russian Patriotic Alliance and pro-Western National Movement or pro-Russian Nino Burjanadze and pro-Western Irakli Alasania will stand side by side. Perhaps this incompatibility is the main reason behind the calmness of the government. Maybe Georgian Dream is counting on that very non-united opposition, thinking it can easily beat them while they are divided. Nevertheless, the government should by all means take into consideration the precedents that are far beyond this logic.

In autumn 1991, one ‘Large Coalition’ was formed. Nothing united the subjects apart from their hatred of President Zviad Gamsakhurdia; their only drive the thirst for power. At that time, too, their method was to come together to get rid of the government, settling relations among themselves only afterwards and beating groups that had different orientation and aspirations later.

What do the pro-Western Alasania and the Republican Berdzeneshvili brothers have in common with those ‘peasant-working class’ powers who united against President Saakashvili and finally gathered in the Georgian Dream? Obviously nothing other than their thirst for power. And we are already seeing the outcomes of all of this as our government is incapable and inefficient, while the development of our country has ground to a halt. We should assume that the oppositional parties will not allow such mistakes to be repeated.

As for the announced street protests, these have not yet spread beyond the talk show studios. Obviously, the main oppositional power, the UNM, has completely different plans: turbulent rallies in the streets and pushing; using the helpless silence, indecision and weakness demonstrated daily by the current government to its benefit.

Zaza Jgarkava



12 May 2016 18:46