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Saakashvili's factor in the victory of Georgian Dream

Author : Zhanna Bezpyatchuk

Source : 112 Ukraine

Constitutional majority in the Georgian parliament will consist of the forces that are oriented on a compromise with Russia
23:14, 13 October 2016

 Read the original text at tyzhden.ua.

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To be or not to be? Shakespeare’s question is now before the United National Movement (UNM) of Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia. His party lost the elections to the ruling "Georgian Dream:" it retrieve only 27.1%, and the political power of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili - 48.6%. The five percent threshold for getting into parliament overcame the Patriots Alliance and Georgia journalist Irma Inashvili (5.1%), which stands on anti-Western positions. Electoral race is mixed: 73 deputies of the 150 elected in majoritarian constituencies.

Two weeks ago, there were no signs of the triumph of power: polls showed that two main competitors go hand in hand. However, the share of those undecided was almost transcendental: 55-60%. The battle for their votes the ruling party won, even considering the possibility of fraud.

Related: The party of Saakashvili considers Georgian elections falsified

"Miho Factor" in this election was the same important as during the parliamentary campaign of 2012. On the one hand, supporters and sympathizers expect from it signals whether the former president is ready to return to Georgian politics if UNM wins? The politician remains party leader, holds even demonstrative meeting in light cameras opposition TV channel "Rustavi-2" at the checkpoint on the Turkish-Georgian border and gives instructions over the phone.

Related: Georgian demonstration in Kyiv to support Rustavi 2 channel

Speaking from Odesa to his supporters during a rally in the street of the Rose Revolution, which the current government, by the way, decided to rename, Saakashvili promised to cross the Black Sea the next day after the vote and start to form a new government October, 9. However, on election day, the pro-government television showed an interview with another Georgian ex-president,. The politician said that no matter how the election ended, he will not leave Ukraine. So if Miho does not return, should someone support UNM? Obviously, some of the voters could ask ourselves this question.

Related: Elections in Georgia: Saakashvili’s return and Putin’s revenge

Taken out of context words overheard conversations of opposition intelligence services, which, of course, hit the Internet and play on fears of massive Georgian society - so briefly define the secret of "Georgian Dream" of its opponents. Indeed, the pro-government media consistently caused hysteria around the possible return of Saakashvili, saying that this would mean a new war either with Russia or within the state. Firewood thrown into the fire recording conversations of opposition. In one, a voice that is very similar to the voice of Mikheil Saakashvili, encourages associates to the revolutionary scenario bloodless overthrow of the government. The reason for this would be election fraud. In the second - the same voice in a conversation with Director General of "Rustavi 2" literally says "Bring and collect glands, tents, make a fortress. No other way. Bring half to two thousand people. Find the guerrillas to protect."

Related: Car of Saakashvili’s close companion was blown up

These statements on militants, revolution, barricades were replicated and incessantly cited by opponents of the Saakashvili government and the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia. The success of the latter in this election is electoral jackpot for Ivanishvili. First, APG combines harshest critics and opponents of Saakashvili, for which he was "bloody tyrant." Second, anti-Western parties predict the role of "bad cop" in tandem with the more moderate and balanced "Georgian dreamers."

Related: Elections in Georgia attended by almost 35% of voters. - CEC

Thus, the Georgian pro-government propaganda promised to organize "bloodbath" in case of return of Misha. On the eve of the elections someone blew up the car of UNM politician Givi Targamadze close ally of Saakashvili, who appears as a defendant in the "Bolotnaya case" in Russia. Five people were injured, the candidate was still alive. Seeing it on the evening news, Georgian voters apparently thought again.

In general, the current government has the achievements of four years of governance, which helped it to lay over some voters; free public health insurance for the entire population of the country and combating hepatitis C program. It should be noted that during the reign of the Ivanishvili party Russian markets reopened for Georgian companies and vice versa, Russian tourists flocked to beaches of Batumi.

Related: Saakashvili: Ukraine faced crisis of failed reforms

However, four years ago Bidzina Ivanishvili voiced more serious plans. In 2012, he promised three things: to solve the domestic problems (land for peasants), to create jobs and restore justice, punishing of "bloody nationals" (supporters of Saakashvili). The first two promises were failed, except that the population was generally satisfied with free medical insurance. But the third point exceeded, placing behind the bars the former prime minister, defense minister, and the mayor of Tbilisi. It should be added that four criminal cases against Mikheil Saakashvili were started in Georgia for embezzlement and abuse of power. That is, legally he could return only if Parliament decided to amnesty him. This would be possible only after obtaining majority at the elections.

Related: Saakashvili: Europe will weaken, might make deals with Putin

And while the "Georgian Dream" celebrates victory, UNM states about election fraud. Thus, the party leader in Adjara Levan Varshalomidze presented to journalists evidence of massive fraud. 24 thousand ballots have been declared invalid in the region.

Four years ago, Mikheil Saakashvili conceded the defeat of his political power and announced the transition to the opposition. Then it was a test for the possibility of democratic change of power in the country. Today the situation is no less complicated: the next few days, in fact, would make us clear whether Georgia is moving this democratic way.

Related: Parliamentary elections in Georgia: when the power does not change

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