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Was dissolving the Alliance a “joint decision”?

By Mzia Kupunia
Thursday, June 17
The dissolution of the Alliance for Georgia, a union of four political parties led by Georgia’s former UN Ambassador Irakli Alasania, is being widely discussed in Georgian political circles. Most analysts and politicians suggest that the move is “logical” as the alliance was a “temporary unit” set up for the May 30 local elections. However some state that the Alliance has collapsed because it lost the local elections.

Irakli Alasania announced its dissolution on Tuesday on the 'Barrier' talk show on Kavkasia TV. “We had a very interesting year as the Alliance. For me personally this was a huge experience,” he said. “Our constituent parties have evaluated the year and what prevented us gaining more success at the local elections. We will now adopt a new mode of relations, which means close coordination but not in the form of an alliance,” he added.

Our Georgia-Free Democrats (Alasania’s party) will continue to create “its own political machine” and try and “change the election environment”, Alasania said on Wednesday. He added that it was the “joint decision” of the leaders of the four Alliance parties (Our Georgia-Free Democrats, New Rights, the Republican Party and The Way of Georgia) to dissolve it. However leader of the Republican Party Davit Usupashvili said that this was Alasania’s decision alone. “The Republican Party supported maintaining the Alliance even after the local elections, through organisational and political integration, however we were not able to achieve consensus on this issue. Alasania considers strengthening his own party in the way to achieve greater success and has decided to devote himself to doing this,” Usupashvili noted. “We respect this decision and wish him success,” he added.

Leader of the New Rights Davit Gamkrelidze told journalists that he supported “more integration and continuing to work as one force”. “However, after analysing the local elections we saw that the different parties are not able to work in a synchronised manner and establish one consistent body. However we are not going to isolate ourselves from each other,” he noted, adding that New Rights will carry on consulting and working with not only the former members of the Alliance but other parties. “We are not going to join any new alliance in the nearest future,” he said.

Former member of Our Georgia-Free Democrats Sozar Subari, who left it as soon as the local election results were announced, said he did not see anything “special” in the collapse of the Alliance. “In my opinion we lack a strong [opposition] party in Georgian politics. I think the current opposition parties should have forming one on their agenda,” Subari stated, adding that “people have the right to decide for themselves whom they want to be in alliance with.”

The dissolution of the Alliance is “regrettable” but not a “surprise”, MP Nika Laliashvili of the Christian-Democratic Movement said. “It is a pity that when the pro-Russian political forces are consolidating the pro-Western political forces are falling apart,” Laliashvili said. “Instead of growing stronger together, the parties in the Alliance sucked energy from each other, so on reflection its dissolution does not seem unexpected,” he stated.

Some analysts suggest that the Alliance has been abandoned because its member parties want to get stronger on their own after their defeat in the elections. “Joining the Alliance was attractive for the parties due to the popularity of Irakli Alasania, however after his and their defeat in the local elections they have started looking for explanations of this. It will be hard for them to find these reasons while they remain in alliance, so they have decided to grow stronger separately,” analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze said.

Independent political analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili said that dissolving the Alliance was more “natural” than maintaining unity “artificially.” “Alliances are set up before elections for a specific reason,” Tsiskarishvili noted. “Now the elections are over and no more are scheduled in the near future it is absolutely understandable that the member parties of the Alliance want to conduct independent activities and the public will have to assess them individually,” he added.

The collapse of the Alliance for Georgia will begin a “new stage” of political union between Irakli Alasania and political forces which want such a union, analyst Irakli Sesiashvili said. “However it will be better if such a union is set up 1 or 2 years before the elections,” he noted.

The former members of the Alliance for Georgia, which was founded in February, 2009 have not ruled out the possibility of “political cooperation in the future.”