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Opposition position

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, May 20
There exists a popular joke about Georgians based on stereotype observation: one Georgian is a leader, two Georgians together - is a government and three Georgians together is impossible. The lack of unity in Georgia always damages its history. In the country's past, when somebody wanted to achieve success either internally or in foreign policy he would take steps towards dissolving Georgian unity, using not Georgian of course but very often applied to Georgian reality formula - divide and rule. Maybe the same is true for other countries but we are here discussing the Georgian case. Elections are approaching and it is becoming more and more obvious that the ruling administration has a very big chance to win the elections quite easily. It needs just over 30%, with the remainder of the votes shared among the opposition which is divided into small segments and therefore has very little chance of achieving any kind of meaningful success. When in the spring of 2009 the opposition managed to unite the ruling administration was really scared. Moreover during the presidential elections of January 2008 the opposition eventually managed to unite more or less solidly nominating Levan Gachechiladze as a united candidate for the presidency. Gachechiladze nearly beat President Saakashvili and the opposition representatives claim that if there had been no manipulation the opposition candidate could have achieved the results which would have made it necessary to hold the second round of the elections, in which case Gachechiladze would have won. However even then 'New Rights' as well as some other parties put forward their own presidential candidates, so there was no total unity.

So the popular Georgian saying that the strength is in unity is correct, unfortunately for the opposition they do not always follow this. On the other hand it is followed by the ruling party and ruling administration - they are united, consolidated and determined to win the forthcoming local elections.

The Opposition speculates that there are some problems in the ruling party. Any problems however are not apparent – they have not risen to the surface and the ruling authorities keep together; if there are any divisions among them they are not visible. As for the Opposition it is clearly divided; moreover the various members confront each other. As the elections approach you can see more and more allegations and accusations of the Opposition parties towards each other, Christian Democrats accuse the Democratic Movement United Georgia (Nino Burjanadze’s party) of certain unforgivable sins. Alliance for Georgia criticizes the promotion elections programme launched by Christian Democrats’ candidate for mayor Gia Chanturia. Some members of the National Council criticize Alliance for Georgia. The issue of some Opposition members' trips to the Russian capital creates more open ground for additional criticism. The Opposition is further divided in to segments according to their approach to the issue of how to deal with Russia. To start negotiations immediately without preconditions or to wait until it gives up Georgian occupied territories. 10 days are left before Election Day and for many citizens who are not satisfied with the performance of ruling administration it is still unclear for whom to vote out of the opposition spectrum. Many voters do not want to go to the elections at all, because they are confused whom to vote for. The Opposition has been unable to unite and produce at least in Tbilisi one joint candidate for the mayor of the capital. People feel disappointed, frustrated and confused. One can sense this mood of frustration when the Opposition wants to convene a protest rally - instead of the promised tens of thousands of protesters like last year, only couple of hundred appear.

Many Opposition leaders claim that people will come out into the streets if the elections results are rigged, however this is doubtful. So while the Opposition position is rather subtle, the ruling power feels itself more and more comfortable and confident.