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Demarcation line between state and ruling party

By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 20
During the Soviet period, the Communist Party was domineering over all state institutions: in fact the country was managed by the Communist Party. It ruled with the confidence that this would last forever. However, the situation changed; there is no Soviet Union and no Communist Party. That being said, the mindset of the ruling power to privatize the managerial system has not been overcome. In many post-Soviet countries the situation is similar. Apart from the Baltic States, no former Soviet Union Republics have managed to draw solid and decisive demarcation lines between the state and the ruling party and thus becoming truly democratic.

The situation has become even more complicated before elections, when the ruling power attempts to use administrative resources as much as possible. The Georgian opposition in particular complains that the ruling party uses administrative resources to achieve political advantages by promising the population 1,000 GEL vouchers during the next term of their governance. The party leaders promise this money as a gift from the party, whereas in reality, this money should be coming from the budget. As analysts observe this is a clear-cut case of bribing and vote buying. The state audit representatives do not pay attention to this, but never misses 10 laris when observing every single move by the opposition Georgian Dream Coalition. Even the existence and activities of the state auditing institution represents an abuse of election rights and the use of administrative resources to the advantage of the ruling power.

The state auditing puts the competing sides into unequal situation because legislation was adjusted to the interests of the National Movement. The state auditing system uses this double standard for the same type of violations. Therefore, one should assume that there is a certain unification of the ruling political force and the state in Georgia as of late. This Soviet-era tendency is alive and well in Georgia today.

After Georgia’s first President Zviad Gamsakhurdia was ousted, the country’s leader became former communist boss, Eduard Shevardnadze. Of course he organized a system of governance that he had known and which was comfortable for him. During the Shevardnadze era, his party– Citizens Union, ruled over the state structures. When the United National Movement came into power in 2003 its slogans were against the ways of the prior president’s style of governance. People trusted the new force and voted accordingly. However, later it appeared that one domineering power was just being substituted for another. The multi-party system in Georgia is an illusion; the ruling power secures an overwhelming victory for its party and therefore it continues domineering over the situation locally.

Despite the declared free-market economy development, the state structures control the economy as well and successful business could only be conducted by the so-called businessman under the umbrella state structures or powerful individuals. People who came to power in their early 20s have become millionaires. Many independent analysts agree that the country needs changes so that a demarcation line should be drawn between the ruling force and the state.