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Balance and counter balance

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, November 9
Bidzina Ivanishvili’s involvement in Georgia’s politics provides a counter balance to those of the Government. Until he became active politically, the ruling power dominated Georgia as the opposition was segmented and in disarray. Now, however there appears to be a significant force behind Ivanishvili which has the potential to alter current government strategies. It should be said though that having a potential does not necessarily mean that it will be realized.

Until Ivanishvili’s appearance on the political scene the ruling party controlled the entire political situation in the country, whereas opposition forces were feeble, disorganized and demoralized. Now Ivanishvili has become a central power and almost the entire political spectrum expresses its respect towards him and acknowledges his leadership. There were certain statements made by Ivanishvili which were very important. He principally is against any kind of forceful or revolutionary ways of change. For him the only way to change the government is by using legal ways, that is through elections. Officially the parliamentary elections should be held in Autumn of 2012. There is some controversy though over the date, because during a meeting with the parliamentary majority President Saakashvili said that on May 26, 2012 the first session of the new parliament will be held in Kutaisi. This statement raised doubts as to whether it was a slip of tongue or perhaps Saakashvili wants to hold snap elections sometime next Spring. Officials however, deny such an option.

Before Ivanishvili became a political player, a change in the ruling power through elections was practically impossible. However things have now changed radically. There are some opinions in Georgia now that the USA and Russia have made a deal to remove Saakashvili and to appoint Ivanishvili as Prime Minister and Irakli Alasania as president. Some media outlets promote this option. However there are other opinions which challenge this rumor. Journalists Vakhtang Komakhidze who emigrated to Switzerland said that today the governing authorities are pretty powerful and although they cannot create something valuable they can certainly destroy and spoil something. So, officially almost a year is left before the next parliamentary elections, which is enough time for political regrouping. Most of the opposition want to join Ivanishvili’s movement, but some are criticizing his moves: Labours and New Rights, partially Christian-Democrats. However he himself was the one who had criticized those parties.

Some suggest that Ivanishvili will make a mistake if he attracts the same political personalities which were leading the opposition before his appearance. They advise Ivanishvili to promote new names and faces. Besides, among the current opposition there are some who play double games and have connections with the ruling authorities.

So Ivanishvili has his problems. There have been official steps made against him, attacking his businesses, his supporters, depriving him of Georgian citizenship, and he must select a winning political team. However, the ruling power itself has certain problems, Ivanishvili seems to be a very powerful opponent. According to some information there are already certain moves in the ruling party, showing sympathy to Ivanishvili. So, of course the final political configuration has not yet been shaped. However, we cannot deny that intrigue is here. The next step will be establishment of a political party by Ivanishvili’s son which is planned for the end of November.