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Ruling party should not merge with the state

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, February 19
On February 16, the Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia party held an emergency meeting in Tbilisi. The founder of the party and Georgia's current Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili became the honorary chairman of the party. At the meeting Ivanishvili announced that his party will not merge with the state as was the tradition in Soviet Georgia. Unfortunately this inertia continued after Georgia regained its independence. Shevardnadze created the Citizens' Union party and Saakashvili the UNM. Eventually, both these parties merged with the state. Therefore the activities of these parties automatically became state moves. Now the Georgian Dream is the ruling party and its leader does not want this party to repeat its past errors.

Before the Rose Revolution ten year ago, when Saakashvili became the leader of the UNM; it forced all other parties to merge with it. Ivanishvili created a coalition where the representatives of different political parties are united and enjoy equal rights. Shevardnadze’s Citizens' Union as well as Saakashvili’s UNM was merged with the state like in the Soviet period.

It was very difficult to distinguish where the political party finished and the government began. Ivanishvili said that this ill practice should be stopped. A distinct border should be established between the ruling party and the state administration. This move was supported by the chairman of the parliament Davit Usupashvili. Ivanishvili promised that in the coalition there would be no dominating force. All member parties should exercise equal rights and he promised to personally control this issue.

He also mentioned that his presence in the party as the honorary chairman is a temporary measure. This idea was supported by the members of the coalition. According to them, the PM should not represent one party only. The error committed by Saakashvili should not be repeated as he himself is labelled as the president of opposition not the president of the entire country.

20 years after Georgia regained its independence, the parties that were around disappeared as soon as this person was no longer their leader. This happened with Zviad Gamsakhurdia and with Shevardnadze and his Citizens Union party. Analysts predict the same future for Saakashvili and his UNM. Ivanishvili thinks that the Georgian Dream will remain even if it moves to the opposition. It is premature to say whether this promise will be fulfilled, although the Georgian population hopes that this will be in case.