Georgia’s domestic policy 2014
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, December 312014 was quite a loaded year in terms of domestic political news in Georgia. Local elections held in the summer were a key event; while the brawl in parliament which took place recently should be granted the title of the most memorable occasion of 2014.
The Georgian Dream coalition won the local elections held in the summer and finalized the circle of triumph that began with winning the 2012 parliamentary elections.
The elections put to rest cohabitation between the coalition and the opposition United National Movement (UNM). Following the Georgian Dream victory, several representatives of the previous government were arrested. However, this did not put an end to the UNM.
In 2014 founder of the Georgian Dream coalition, billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. “left politics” and moved into the civil sector. However, many still believe that he runs the country from behind the scenes.
The year was also distinguished by the very public controversies that occurred between Prime Minister Irakli Gharibahsvili and President Giorgi Margvelashvili.
Margvelashvili’s power was constitutionally restricted in various fields leading several mishaps with him representing Georgia at international events. The president was then criticized by Ivanishvili, who accused him of creating a useless fuss over the matter.
Defence Ministry Irakli Alasania was fired in 2014, which led to a precarious situation for the Georgian Dream coalition.
Alasania’s dismissal was followed by the resignation of his team members, leading to a weakening of the Georgian Dream majority. In the end the Georgian did manage to hang on to the parliamentary majority, but just by a thread.
The rating of the Georgian Dream compared to former years has markedly plummeted. That said, we cannot say that the government did not do anything, as various positive steps have been taken in several fields, especially in healthcare. However, the promises given to the people in before the election periods were so comprehensive and ambitious that the public had expected more.
The Georgian Dream’s ratings have deteriorated, it has triggered speculation that Ivanishvili might return to politics.
According to analyst Gia Khukhashvili, the current government will face more serious internal and foreign challenges in 2015 and it will fail to show resistance.
“With regard to Ivanishvili, the coalition is nothing without him,” he said, speaking about the former PM.
The analyst did not exclude that alongside the Free Democrats, the Republicans might leave the coalition in 2015.
Even in the case Ivanishvili makes the decision to return, his ratings will not be as high as they was in 2012 owing to the fact that multiple unfulfilled promises had been given by him as well.
There are serious moves in the opposition, where parties are mainly re-grouped based on their foreign priorities. There are two opposition parties in parliament-the United National Movement and the Free Democrats. However, the latter refuses to collaborate with the UNM. Both of them are looked at as pro-western. When it comes to pro-Russian opposition, Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement-United Georgia fills that void.
All of this points to the fact that the democratization of a country like Georgia is not an easy task.