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2011 pre election year

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, January 4
In 2011 there are no elections scheduled in Georgia. However, it looks like elections will be the number 1 topic in the internal policy of the country. Some parts of the opposition demand snap elections. Another part sits at the negotiations table with the ruling party and tries to improve the election environment. The third part of the opposition however, is sure that holding new parliamentary elections is in the interest of the ruling party. Ruling authorities deny the possibility of any snap elections.

One of the leaders of opposition, former parliamentary chair Nino Burjanadze, is sure that president Saakashvili will hold snap parliamentary elections in 2011. The motivation for this will be the Russian elections in 2012, so that Georgian elections do not coincide with Russian elections. This was done during the previous parliamentary elections and he will take the same steps to do it this year as well, thinks Burjanadze. So obviously, if this would be the case, the appropriate amendments would not be introduced in the elections code and therefore, the snap elections would be held according to the existing elections code.

Burjanadze predicts that as a result of such parliamentary elections, the ruling power will retain its position and certain opposition parties will qualify as well, these being parties that do not create any problems for the ruling party. The current chair of the parliament David Bakradze already stated that if the ruling authorities decide to hold snap parliamentary elections they are guaranteed to win. However, he mentioned that country wants to build stable state institutions and systems, and therefore no snap elections whatsoever are planned. This statement gives ground to what most analysts assume, which is that there will be no snap elections. Still, there are some skeptics who mentioned that judging by the character of the president, Bakradze’s statements would not be an obstacle if the ruling power decides to carry out snap parliamentary elections.

Some analysts say this is because their personal interests rank higher than the stability of state institutions.

Meanwhile, the most important thing on the agenda today is the creation of an appropriate environment for holding fair and transparent elections with no room for manipulations. Current achievements towards democracy, according to the Democracy Index rating, show that these achievements are quite modest for Georgia. So if the country wants to keep its name among the leaders in democracy building, the elections will be a real challenge that must be overcome. In reality, much depends on the part of the opposition which conducts negotiations with ruling party for improving the election environment in the country.