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Speculation about the third centre

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 13
When Georgian tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili decided to get involved in politics, commentators started speaking about two balancing political groups in Georgia. One is the United National Movement (UNM), the other is an opposition coalition led by Ivanishvili. However, there are members of the opposition who are either uninterested – or uninvited – to the coalition. They believe themselves to be a third centre on the Georgian political spectrum, and one that is just as viable as the other two.

This “third centre” is made up of the Christian Democrats, New Rights, and the National Democrats. Ivanishvili sees all three as satellites of the UNM and so has excluded them from his coalition. But they are not aligned with the administration, and all view themselves as having a unique vision for Georgia.

It is unlikely that they will form an alliance, although electorally that might be their best hope for qualifying. It’s not clear from which party such a coalition would take votes – would they court disaffected UNM voters, or more mainline Georgian Dream supporters? Furthermore, Georgian voters prefer strong, charismatic leaders that a party can design their campaign around. A platform is not enough to attract the attention (or devotion) of a large segment of the population.

There is, of course, also the Labour Party, but it has no chance of growing its base, thanks to radical politics and a much-derided leader.

Regardless of the optimistic talk coming from the Christian Democrats, New Rights, or the National Democrats, it is unlikely that this election will have any serious contenders outside of the UNM and Georgian Dream.