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Politics should not be done in the streets

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, July 7
This was a key phrase which the President of Estonia Toomas Hendrik Ilves stated during his visit to Georgia as he proclaimed the international support of the country. This is an essential element of a democratic country, but do we comply with this sentence? Until recently, most of the politics in Georgia has been done in the streets.

The Estonian President made this statement in relation to the May 26 events in Tbilisi. According to him, the discussions among the politicians should move from the streets and into the parliament. He made this statement during his meeting with opposition leaders after listening to their complaints about anti democratic actions in Georgia. This phrase of the Estonian President highlighted the essential program of Georgian democracy today. There is a parliament in Georgia, in which there are some opposition representatives. These representatives make critical statements, however these do not facilitate any discussion.

The ruling political party in the parliament enjoys a constitutional majority, so it can very tolerantly listen to the opposition's remarks, suggestions and criticism but during the voting can decide to ignore it all.

It is interesting that the current ruling party came to power from the street through revolution albeit a rose coloured one. The Rose revolution administration came to power through removing President Shevardnadze and his administration even though many of those who performed the revolution against Shevardnadze's rule had been promoted and invited into politics by Shevardnadze personally. There are certain allegations that Shevardnadze invited them to power in Georgia after the bloody coup d'etat early in the 90s. Nobody doubts the essence of the Estonian President’s words. It is an ideal situation when there are representatives of different parties and decisions are made after heated discussion and, most importantly, the responsibility over the decisions is shared by all the parliament members. This is real democracy, but Georgia is pretty far from this unfortunately. Instead, after Georgia regained its independence from the Soviet Union, Georgia became a country where fraudulent elections were ‘engineered’ which accommodated certain manipulations to secure the victory of the ruling power.

Georgia is approaching two elections: parliamentary and presidential. So the sophisticated chess game has started. The ruling power wants to secure its ultimate victory but it needs background voices to create a democratic image, therefore it has chosen certain opposition forces who agree on cooperation and the rules of games suggested by the ruling power. For this they will receive some seats in the parliament but this will not change the balance of power. The ruling power will still enjoy a constitutional majority and do what it likes to do.

Some opposition forces still think that street actions are the only alternative. It would be much appreciated by the whole population of the country if the ruling forces would allow larger representation of opposition forces in the parliament in order to share some responsibility and avoid further unwanted scenes on Georgian streets.