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Possible changes in the political spectrum

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, October 31
Just after the presidential election in Georgia, speculations began over the renewal of the political spectrum in the country. In this context, the possibility of holding a snap parliamentary election is being discussed and could represent the real political forces in the country in the legislative body. These elections could also facilitate appearance of new faces and new forces in the political arena.

The results of the October 27th presidential election in Georgia showed that the political forces in the country are not relevantly represented in the parliament. The presidential candidate of the Georgian Dream coalition collected 62% of the votes, while the United National Movement (UNM)’s – 21%, Democratic Movement-United Georgia’s – 10%, but the latter political force is not at all represented in the parliament. Representatives of some other parties have collected altogether about 6% of the votes. So, it appears that the interests of around 16% of the voters remain behind the scene.

Moreover, it has become evident, that the former administration currently enjoys around 40% of the votes in the parliament, whereas in reality, it is supported only by around 20%. Thus it should be mentioned that around 16% of the voters are in favor of neither the coalition, not UNM but the third force.

So, these figures and opinions suggest the idea of holding snap parliamentary elections to correctly identify the balance of political forces in the country. The presidential election also showed that the Georgian Dream coalition, practically repeated its performance achieved in last year’s parliamentary elections, whereas the UNM collected only 21% (almost two times less than last year).

Most analysts do not doubt that in the case of a snap parliamentary election, the UNM will be fortunate to receive even 20% of the voters’ support. Instead, new political forces will enter the parliament.

This opinion is particularly important as the coalition does not possess the constitutional majority in the parliament and there are several crucial issues, which need to be adopted by the parliament through the constitutional majority. This includes relocating the parliamentary building from Kutaisi to Tbilisi, as well as the adoption of additional amendments to the state constitution.

There is another fact observed by analysts as well. Many old leaders of the political parties received almost zero support during the presidential election. This suggests that they have to resign form the political arena and give way to the new faces. In this respect, Giorgi Margvelashvili’s entrance to politics from an academic background must be welcomed. Of course, “aged” politicians will not disappear from the political arena as that it their choice, but it is likely that they have no chance to recover and return to a position of significant political leadership in the country.

There is one more issue. This is the fact that the population might be fed-up with so many crucial elections: one last year, another this year, as well as the local elections scheduled for next spring. So, in this respect, the idea of holding snap parliamentary elections might not be popular. So, the real option left is to express their opinion during the 2014 local self-government elections.