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Non parliamentary opposition preparing

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, February 8
It looks like the non-parliamentary opposition is planning some activities for the spring. Representatives of some parties hope that as a result of the very serious social hardships people face, protest sentiments will prevail among the public and they will come out onto the streets as we have seen happen recently in some Arab states. Others think that there will be serious improvements to the election environment making it possible to change the ruling administration more smoothly. As always there are sceptics who comment that in both cases the opposition is repeating its same old past mistakes.

Most opposition parties do not consider the current ruling administration as a beacon of democracy; on the contrary they think that the current leadership methodically and stubbornly continues to build a totalitarian regime in different guises, widening repression and using control mechanisms to try to make as many people as possible subordinate. Meanwhile analysts have noticed a growing aggression in different parts of the Georgian population based on feelings of frustration, mistrust and disappointment. This aggressive feeling is directed not only at the ruling administration only but towards the opposition and other political forces. Discrediting the opposition is not only the ruling power's achievement but of the opposition itself. Opposition members confront each other in a most disgusting manner calling each other names and undermining each other’s position. After the long protest action of 2009 when the ruling power refrained from taking sharp punitive measures the opposition did not dare to repeat the rose revolution, and split into two parts. The so called liberal or constructive side decided that elections are the only way to change the current administration whereas the so called radical opposition continued the old tactics in the belief that only street protests can force the authorities to resign.

Representatives of both sides make efforts to promote their position in trying to gain popular support. The radical opposition thinks its opinion was confirmed by the 2010 local elections, which it claims were manipulated and which the liberal part of the opposition who participated in them lost.

Of these elections the most crucial was that for the Tbilisi Mayor and the opposition were unable to achieve the desired result. It did not manage to have appropriate amendments in the elections code nor was it able to consolidate to present one united candidate for the mayoral position. As a result it lost and the ruling party’s candidate was victorious resulting in a further wave of frustration among the population.

Analyst and opposition representative Vakhtang Dzabiradze thinks that there is a feeling that the opposition would rather the ruling administration be victorious than lose to another political force. Various ideas are being spread among the opposition – acute protest actions, ideas of national disobedience. They say that they will execute public order but as has been said previously popular support is lost. While the opposition plans to become active in the spring, there are still negotiations ongoing regarding the amendments to the elections code. But one thing is becoming evident, there is no more popular support for the most of the old opposition figures and of course in these circumstances, the ruling administration has a considerable advantage.