Ivanishvili provides realistic assessment of Georgia’s future
By Ernest Petrosyan
Monday, August 6Winning three-fourths of the seats in the 150-member Parliament in the October 1 elections is “the best-case scenario for his coalition,” said the Georgian Dream opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, during his hour and a half long interview with the Tbilisi-based media union Obiektivi dedicated to the upcoming parliamentary elections.
In the average scenario, the Georgian Dream leader is expecting to win two-thirds or close to two-thirds of the parliamentary seats. As for the worst case scenario, according to Ivanishvili, would be winning about 40% of votes, but that would happen “[only] if we make some catastrophic mistakes” or if some unexpected developments, not depending on Georgian Dream, occur,” said Ivanishvili
Ivanishvili noted that the worst-case scenario will be devastating for the authorities. He emphasized that during the uneven playing field ahead of the elections, the authorities were already rigging the elections, “but it won’t affect us,” he said.
“We will win by a large margin,” said Ivanishvili. “When I was speaking about two-thirds of the parliamentary seats, it was not pulled out of thin air,” Ivanishvili said adding that the authorities would only be able to rig some five-percent of votes, but it won’t actually effect the overall results.
He also said that the authorities would not be able to resort to large-scale ballot fraud, adding that international observers and Georgia’s Western partners would not acknowledge such elections. Further asked by an interviewer whether he would call for street protests in the case of ballot fraud, Ivanishvili responded that in such a case, voters would protest on their own to show to Western partners that there was large-scale fraud.
“I will never call on the Georgian people to conduct civil confrontation, this is ruled out. Our demonstrations are very civilized and peaceful, and in the worst [mass falsification] case, we will have our supporters to gather and will ask Americans and Europeans to count them. They [the authorities] won’t be able to legitimize [the rigged election results],” added Ivanishvili.
Among other important issues raised by the interviewer, was the recently paid fine, as well as the foremost public social concern.
“It is clear that politics has some. I entered politics and indeed I take it into consideration. I think I was very consistent with regard to the GEL 80 million fines. I paid several fines and thereby I showed Georgians and foreigners that the fines were illegal. Nonetheless, I was taking into the consideration the legislation. However, I refused to pay the 80 million lari fine,” said Ivnaishvili.
Asked what the most common concern in society is countrywide, Ivanishvili called the existing feeling of injustice, as well as the issue of unemployment. “I would say that it is the sense of total injustice, and I think the unemployment, the second concern, that it can be equaled to it. There are plenty of illegal prisoners; there are plenty of IDP’s and emigrants who went overseas to somehow earn some means for a living. ” said Ivanishvili, promising to inspire emigrants to return to Georgia.
“Indeed not all of them will return simultaneously, not all of them will have this possibility. Our economy will not prosper in a year, so many jobs will not be created in such a short run; I want society to accept that and comprehend this. However, we will launch the process… and it will be irreversible. I am afraid of promises, as I do not want to give false illusions to the public that everything will be excellent in a year’s time. However, justice will be restored instantly, as it does not need investment. As for jobs? This will need a couple of years,” Ivanishvili said.