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Compiled by Lera Khubunaia
Friday, February 24
Khukhashvili: Government’s defeat is inevitable

In an interview with Akhali Taoba, political analyst Gia Khukhashvili said that if the Georgia is able to continue reforming its electoral system, then the government’s defeat will be inevitable.

He addressed the prospects for Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream, in the face of a government-led smear campaign. “If the Georgian government insists that Ivanishvili is a Russian [puppet], then the rest of the politicians insist that he is an American [puppet]. In reality, when there is this 'king of a union', there will be the contradictory opinions. One can feel in his [Ivanishvili’s] announcements the loyalty to Western values, because [he speaks] about democracy and freedom of speech, [and the] free market... Ivanishvili is pro-West, but this kind of orientation does not necessarily mean that he [Ivanishvili] has to be someone’s servant... Ivanishvili may be a partner of the West but not a servant,” Khukhashvili said.

The analyst also discussed the elections, noting that campaigns are not yet at their peak and already the administration is trying to limit political parties. “Recently, the public became quite active after [seeing] the new law about [party financing]. The [outside] discussion to improve the electoral environment is still in [progress], but the government holds the parliamentary remote controls and the rest of the institutions, and has completely closed this subject. I think there will be many dialogues on this issue, but it is very unlikely that government will improve the electoral environment," he noted, adding that the government is attempting to make the election easy to win, rather than try to improve Georgia's system of elections.

However, he believes that if the political and electoral reforms that the government is talking about are actually implemented, then power will change hands and Georgian democracy will thrive. “I think that if this process will go in the right direction, the government’s defeat will be inevitable. Of course, the biggest guarantee will be high voter turnout – then the government will not dare falsify the results and honest results will be achieved,” Khukhashvili maintained.

He did concede that change takes time. “We must not forget that it is not easy to organize the political process; it has been only three months since Bidzina Ivanishvili appeared in politics. He will need some time to organize this process. Georgians are very impatient, they want everything right away. Unfortunately, our experience has proven that jobs that are done quickly end up a disappointment.”

Price of meat steady during Lent

There will be no substantial change in the price of meat in the next six weeks, according to one of the largest members of the Georgian meat industry, Ibermit Georgia. The company says that supply is not an issue, but too few consumers is a concern

Lent is cited as a cause of reduced meat consumption.

“The rate of meat sold has been decreasing, which is normal for the current season,” said Kakha Mazanashvili, sales manager at Ibermit Georgia. “For now there will be no changes in pricing.” (Rezonansi)