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Last chance to unite for opposition parties

By Messenger Staff
Friday, May 2
Prior to the local elections in Georgia, the non-parliamentary opposition is still divided into small segments and has failed to unite. The inability to organize has diminished their chance for any real success.

34 parties and blocks have been registered in the Central Election Commission. The time for registration expires on May 3. The final call was made by Kakha Kukava, who suggested that the non-parliamentary political entities should unite. Unfortunately, so far, such attempts have garnered no success. Analysts think that it is very unlikely for anything radical to occur on the last day of registration.

Speaking about statistics: there are 209 political parties registered in Georgia. A vast majority of the parties are not known to the public. In fact, many of them are identifying themselves only for registration purposes.

The current major political force is the Georgian Dream coalition. The coalition united 6 political parties: Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia, Georgian Republican Party, Free Democrats, National Forum, Conservative Party and Industry will Save Georgia.

The founder of the Georgian Dream, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, has quit active politics. However, from time to time, he makes some political assessments. His proxy in politics is the current Prime Minister Irakli Gharibashvili.

The ruling team is eclectic. There are political parties, which have not much in common. It should be noted as well that they would enjoy relatively low ratings if they ran independently.

Some of the parties have political platforms that are quite far from each other. Their unification was made possible primarily by their single shared vision of getting rid of the Saakashvili regime.

The political entity running second is the former leader of the country, the United National Movement. So far, the UNM is the only opposition force in Parliament. It should be stressed that the current Georgian political sphere has two poles. If they do not unite, it is less possible for non-parliament opposition members to get seats in local authorities and create a third pole.

There is a bloc with an impressive name uniting just two parties. There is a second one as well, with two parties also, headed by the former Parliament Chairperson Nino Burjanadze. There are some parties that run separately. These are: Salome Zourabichvili’s Georgian Way, Irakli Okruashvili’s Georgian Party, Shalva Natelashvili’s Labour Party, Jondi Baghaturia’s Georgian Troupe and some others.

There are certain parties registered in the elections with the name of Christian Democrats. These are Christian Democratic Party, Christian Democratic Movement, Christian Democrat Popular Party, and Christian Conservative Party.

There are parties with social-oriented aims, for instance: the Georgian Party on Economic Development and Combating Poverty for Fair Georgia; some others with funny names-Political Movement for Patriots and Georgia’s Law-Enforcement Veterans, Unity Audience or Alliance of Georgian Patriots. There are parties that are simply confusing voters, such as: People’s Party and Popular Party, as well as National-Democratic Party and National Democratic Movement. Some names of parties cause smiles like Unity for Restoring Justice: The Voice of the Nation-God is Our Truth, Georgia’s European Democrats, Whites, Freedom and Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s Way, Georgian Women’s Party- for Justice and Equality. As we mentioned, these parties are mainly one-man entities.

As we can see, the Georgian political spectrum is a disorganized mess, with most groups failing to unite to offer a real third choice in the upcoming elections.