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Anatomy of pre-election campaign

By Messenger Staff
Monday, October 1
Now when the pre –election campaign is over we can give different opinions and the results of observation evaluating challenges which Georgian politics and political culture has.

The October 1, 2012 parliamentary elections proved to have shortcomings in the direction of fairness and independence of the election environment. The ruling power, in its fear of losing the elections, attempted to hinder opposition forces from enjoying equal conditions, whereas the ruling party using all possible means exploited the reserves of administrative resources. Development of democracy requires a situation where opposition forces are active in a more or less equal and free environment, where as a result of fair competition, one side wins whereas another side accepts the defeat and gets ready for the next elections. There is no democracy when the domineering side uses its administrative advantages extensively. As many analysts observe, the current Georgian administration is not ready for real democracy and democracy could be seen not only in the way of coming to power but in the way of losing power as well. President Saakashvili announced several times that he was not going to surrender the governance of the country to anybody else and that only the UNM can guarantee the development of the country. Such an approach essentially contradicts the main principles the Rose administration came to power through. It contradicts its slogans and motivation and the utmost support of the population which was visible in 2003.

It is significant that president of the OSCE has noticed signs of Leninism in the conduct of the ruling power. Political opponent should not be labeled as agents of the Kremlin or the enemy of the people. It has become even more surprising when representatives of official bodies were several times detected in doing illegal acts, throwing stones, beating people, insulting and damaging property. It was one advantage of the pre-election campaign that much attention was paid to the programs in the pre election issues of participating sides. However, many priorities were similar in the programs of the two major political forces confronting each other–the UNM and the Georgian Dream coalition. However, many observers think that the ruling party has had enough time (nine years) to yield some visible results for the welfare of the population. The development of businesses– particularly medium and small-sized businesses, and improving the situation in the agriculture sector, as well as the social and medical care of the population are things that have not been addressed. People seemed to have lost confidence in the current ruling administration.

The pre election campaign showed as well that Georgian political culture has not ridden itself of the concept of charismatic leaders as well as selecting party leadership from the principles of devotedness of the leader rather than based on competence, political platform, programs and so on.