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Saganelidze: Coalition will struggle without Ivanishvili

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, October 14
“No matter who replaces Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, it will be very hard for him to lead the coalition,” was the quoted statement made by the leader of the parliamentary majority Davit Saganelidze, on October 10.

Saganelidze stressed that the coalition “does not lack” leaders who can rule the situation appropriately. He stressed that all the leaders of the six parties, which are united within the Georgian Dream coalition enjoy “brilliant leadership qualities.”

Saganelidze emphasized that Ivanishvili’s decision to leave the political arena is “inevitable”. However, Saganelidze wishes the process would be extended for as long as possible.

Making forecasts regarding the outcome of the upcoming presidential election, Saganelidze said “Giorgi Margvelashvili will win in the first round with 60-70% of the votes.

The majority of the Georgian Dream coalition agreed with Ivanishvili’s decision to leave his position in the near future and move to the civil sector to help empower it. However, the United National Movement (UNM) believes that Ivanishvili failed to keep his promises and now wants to “run away.” The UNM members are also unanimous that Ivanishvili will try to rule the country from the “wings.”

Head of the Elections and Political Technologies Research Centre, Kakha Kakhishvili, believes that it will be a really difficult challenge for the coalition to exist and keep unity without Ivanishvili.

“However, currently, it is not in the interest of the coalition to split,” Kakhishvili said.

Kakhishvili stressed that the UNM will do its best to ensure that their presidential candidate, Davit Bakradze, takes second place in the presidential race.

“If the UNM achieves its goal, they will immediately present the results to the international community as a sign that the UNM is supported by the people… then, the international community will double its talks regarding cohabitation. Such a situation will irritate the public and Bakradze’s second place might be followed by rallies,” Kakhishvili said.

Analyst, Khatuna Lagazidze is sure that Margvelashvili will win in the first round due to the factor of Ivanishvili.

“A major figure in current Georgian politics is Ivanishvili. I cannot see any political leader or political entity that will manage to defeat Ivanishvili in any type of election. When we talk about Margvelasahvili, we mean Ivanishvili… that is why I state that Margvealshvili will win,” Lagazidze said.

Head of the NGO For Our Rights, Davit Liluashvili, thinks that there will be a second round, as Margvealshvili lacks the background and skills that the presidential candidate of the Democratic Movement – United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze has. He believes that the “main battle” will take place between Margvelashvili and Burjanadze.