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Winner takes all in Sakrebulo

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, July 23
The Georgian Dream coalition has revealed a poor political culture. The statement was made by an independent member of Tbilisi City Council Aleko Elisashvili, commenting on electing the Sakrebulo co-chairs and department heads. He stressed that even in Saakashvili’s period, several posts were suggested to opposition representatives.

“The collation did not win the Sakrebulo race 100%. However, 100% of the seats in the body are occupied by the leading party members. It is really regrettable when the Sakrebulo launches its activities through this manner,” Elisashvili said.

He hoped that the Sakrebulo might avoid one-party decisions in the future, as the coalition’s ideas solely might not work for the city.

On July 22, the Sakrebulo elected the co-chairs of the body, both from the Georgian Dream coalition and confirmed 11 commissions, all headed by the Georgian Dream representatives as well.

Members of the United National Movement left the Sakrebulo session as a sign of protest.

Newly elected Head of the Sakrebulo, Giorgi Alibegashvili claims that the Sakrebulo leadership will ensure adequate and balanced functioning of the commissions.

“We are creating a mechanism that will ensure the coordinating activities of each commission,” Alibegashvili said.

The United National Movement members stressed that they left the sitting for several major reasons: One was the summoning of the Sakrebulo members for questioning during the body sittings, and another was the complete domination of the major party and the government in the situations taking place at the Sakrebulo.

Member of the majority Davit Zurabishvili stresses that the opposition protest might have been a cause rather than a serious reason for leaving the sitting. Zurabishvili states that the Sakrebulo sitting was scheduled after the information over summoning of several deputies was released.

Analyst Khatuna Lagazidze told The Messenger that “the coalition is taking the same path that was chosen by the United National Movement, they are moving towards authoritarian rule. However, the process will not bring benefits for the coalition, especially when it lacks intellectual resources. A strong opposition in a country like Georgia is a preventive mechanism for the government from making serious mistakes,” Lagazidze believes. However, the analyst hopes that a newly elected Tbilisi Mayor Davit Narmania might improve the situation in the capital through his professionalism.

Head of the Elections and Political Technologies Research Centre, Kakha Kakhishvili admits that the coalition “grabbed” all the seats. However, he assures that the new Sakrebulo will be different from that under the previous government.

“Taking high posts does not mean taking total control of the situation. There are opposition representatives and independent members in the body. It should be noted that the coalition is not as toxic as the United National Movement was, and certain members of the coalition might not support unpopular initiatives raised by their own party in the future,” Kakhishvili told The Messenger.