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Unusual landscape for the presidential election

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, October 16
The October 27 presidential election will be held among an unusual landscape. The new president will have a much reduced capacity to govern over the country. In fact, the president will not be the number one official in the country, making this election completely different from previous presidential elections.

Zviad Gamsakhurdia, Eduard Shevardnadze and Mikheil Saakashvili were charismatic leaders. This time there are no charismatic personalities among the presidential candidates.

The leader of Democratic Movement United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze, has a certain level of charisma, but whatever her charisma, even if she is elected, her powers will be less than that of Georgia’s three previous presidents.

So, there is no distinguished leader among the participants of the presidential race if we do not consider the fact that the candidate of the Georgian Dream coalition, Giorgi Margvelashvili, is nominated and supported by Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili.

People expect that this support will be decisive and it is in fact a guarantee for Margvelashvili’s victory in the race. If this will be the case, then, of course, Margvelashvili will have to start accumulating independent political capital, to have a rating without being dependent on Ivanishvili.

There are speculations among the Georgian analysts and politicians that a second round of election will be inevitable, as it is unlikely that Margvelashvili will overcome the 50% barrier. Two major figures are considered to run second. They are Burjanadze and United National Movement (UNM) candidate Davit Bakradze.

However, among those two, Burjanadze will presumably be the leader. In her PR campaign she constantly declares loudly that she will win and her slogans are very straightforward and promising. She claims that she will restore justice in the country, that she knows how to regulate relations with Russia, and in the case of her victory, barbed wire fencing along the administrative border between Georgia and its breakaway South Ossetia will be removed. However, she has never gone beyond these declarations and we do not know what kind of mechanisms she plans to activate. This gives ground to the voters to express skepticism towards her personality.

As for the UNM candidate Bakradze, his background creates a hard and dramatic picture of him. Bakradze gives promises and claims that all the shortcomings of his party have been corrected. However, people had become so frustrated with the governance of the UNM that it is difficult to imagine Bakradze running second in the election. Three is also a popular joke: Margvelashvili says, if our leader (Ivanishvili) supports me I will win, while Bakradze says, if our leader (Saakashvili) supports me, I will never win.

The recent congress of the UNM elected Saakashvili as the leader of the party once again. According to the most widespread opinion, Margvelashvili will win the elections in the second round and his opponent will be Burjanadze.