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How solid is the ruling coalition?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, January 9
One of the leaders of the Republican Party and member of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, Levan Berdzenishvili, recently stated that the coalition member parties might run independently in the forthcoming self-governance elections in 2014. This created a kind of embarrassment among the population and within the political scene. The situation is already quite complicated and this opens up the possibility that there are controversies brewing within the ruling coalition and that it could disintegrate.

Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili also touched on this issue. However, he denied the collapse of the coalition. Levan Berdzenishvili stated it on January 4th, 2013 in front of journalists commenting that it is a normal process. He said the parties could run separately and if needed, could merge into coalition.

He aired this idea as a common approach. However, just immediately after this statement, PM Ivanishvili said that this issue had not been on the agenda of the coalition. Commenting on this, Ivanishvili suggested that if any party wants to separately participate in the elections they can do so, though the issue had not been discussed by the coalition; so speaking about disintegration of the coalition is premature.

The Georgian media commented that Berdzenishvili’s position was in fact the first official claim that the coalition might dissolve. The Parliamentary Chairman, Republican Davit Usupashvili, denied this threat of disintegration, although his position was expressed in a very complicated way.

Analysts, politicians and media point out that Berdzenishvili is talking about the elections which will be held in two years but before that in October, 2013 Presidential elections will be held. There is also a threat that President Mikhail Saakashvili might dismiss the Parliament and appoint snap elections in April, 2013. Some suggest that there should already be some kind of confrontation in the ruling power although it is obvious that the coalition is still desperately needed.

In the case of snap elections, they will need unity and in case of presidential election – they also need a united presidential candidate.

The creation of a coalition is a common practice throughout the world so there is obviously nothing extraordinary in Berdzenishvili’s statement. However, some commentators suggest that it is a bit early to talk about a divorce at the moment.