Georgian pre-election confrontation now in European Parliament
By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, July 10European legislators in Strasbourg spoke about the internal politics of Georgia, the forthcoming elections and the confrontation that has ensued between the ruling power and the opposition. However, the rival sides have interpreted the discussions in the EU parliament very differently. The ruling administration look at it as the defeat of Ivanishvili’s lobbying companies, whereas the Georgian Dream speaks about the objective nature of the Strasburg discussions. The opposition believes that the election environment is unfair and demands Western support as a guarantee of democratic elections. Though to achieve this goal, the opposition has tried to convey the information to the West by all possible means.
In past elections, the ruling power monopolized the information as it had a great advantage, whereas the opposition had no chance to make a breakthrough. When Ivanishvili came to politics, things radically changed. He hired several lobbying companies and thus, true information about Georgia reached Western legislators. The ruling administration reacted immediately saying that such activities further increased its informative attack. The debates in the EU Parliament showed that the Rose administration in Georgia has many supporters who positively evaluate the developments in Georgia. This showed that the ruling administration is still winning the information battle. Therefore, Ivanishvili has to work very hard to counter balance the situation. The initiator of the debates in the European parliament was the Georgian Dream political coalition. However, the results were not most favorable. The debates were intensively speculated on in the Georgian media. This is the officials’ opinion. However, the opposition thinks that this was a real breakthrough and they are pleased that the information has reached Strasburg at last.
Neither side is the winner in this PR battle. However, no side has lost either. Altogether, up to 14 MPs took part in those debates. During the debates much was spoken about Russian interests in Georgia, as well as the big money involvement in the election process. However, everybody highlighted that the pre-election environment as well as the elections themselves should be transparent and fair. EP members highlighted the reality that the government wants to prevent the Ivanishvili team from achieving any success in the elections. On the other side, the opposition uses its big money to achieve its goal. As a result, we can judge that the interest in Georgia’s elections is pretty high and Europe is observing everything very attentively. How it should be carried out has yet to be finalized.