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Battle for self-governance positions

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 19
After the Georgian Dream coalition’s victory in the parliamentary election, analysts, politicians and journalists began speculations concerning the duplication of power. The parliament and the government are of the Georgian Dream coalition, whereas the president is of the United National Movement (UNM) and the key positions in the self-governance countrywide are occupied by National Movement representatives.

Local self-governance elections are to be held in 2014, but currently the UNM members in high positions in the self-governance are resigning one after another and are being replaced by Georgian Dream activists. UNM, now in the opposition, blames the current administration in this political pursuit. The Georgian Dream meanwhile categorically rejects such accusations. Parliamentary minority representatives have criticized the current administration stating that so far, 13 local municipality council heads have been dismissed and there is several court cases that have been launched against top officials of the self-governments, all of them are members of the UNM.

While the October 1 elections were only parliamentary, the change of the government has profoundly affected the self-governments as well. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili assessed the situation and underscored that the developments are logical. He warns his team members not to use force or any illegal actions regarding such issues. Some of Georgia’s Western friends criticize this tendency within the country, suggesting that the situation looks remarkably similar to tactics of political revenge. However, when the new administration came to power, many details pertaining to the abuse of rights, violations, the use of administrative resources and other serious crimes were revealed.

People who did not dare speak aloud about the illegalities on the regional level have now managed to speak openly. The ordinary population of Georgia demands that the new administration establish justice in the country. There is also one serious issue worth mentioning: most of the people attached to the National Movement were not supporting the party because of the ideological belief, but rather because this was the way to promote oneself in his professional career– to receive benefits and extra profits. So, the current changes in the self-government system are part of the general strategy of both parties. The UNM wants to preserve such positions to be used as levers for possible political revenge and to possibly call snap parliamentary elections this April. On the other hand, the Georgian Dream wants to get rid of the corrupt members of the self-governance system and in the case of elections, have honest self-government administrations in the regions.

Eventually however, it would be preferable if the parliament introduces the appropriate changes in the legislation or constitution and calls for snap self-governance elections in the country sooner rather than later.