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The Busy First Week of January Politics

By Malkhaz Matsaberidze
Wednesday, January 13
The year started with the appearance of a new political party European Socialists in the Georgian Parliament. The Georgian Dream considers this to be a significant achievement, a beginning to forming a diverse parliament. The opposition, who are still boycotting, think of the four new MPs of the 10th Convocation of the Parliament as an extension of the ruling team.

The first half of January is usually not so politically busy due to the New Year and Orthodox Christmas (January 7) celebrations. However, this year turned out to be an exception. It seems like during the celebrations, the political clashes haven’t paused: the Georgian Dream still refuses to satisfy the demands of the opposition to hold snap elections, however, at the same time, the ruling team is not happy with the one-party parliament and is doing its best to convince the parties to enter through threats or promises.

The first week of January the Georgian Dream’s efforts resulted in a new opposition party’s appearance. The party originally comes from the Alliance of Patriots. The story of the party is the following: the boycotting opposition not only refused to enter the Parliament, but they also removed their parties from the list of backstage talks with the Georgian Dream. However, the Alliance of Patriots turned out to be different- according to the CEC, they gained 3,14% and acquired four places in the parliament, which the party refused. However, it turned out that the party had removed all the members from the list except for three. One of the leaders of the party Irma Inashvili explained that the three members of the party who were left on the list, are financial supporters of the Alliance of Patriots and that only one of them, Prison Injia, is a former member of the party. Inashvili added that Injia was asked to leave the party. The whole thing is a little strange considering that the four MPs were elected from the Alliance of Patriots, not the European Socialists, who will have a hard time acting as an opposition force with four members.

The Georgian Dream used this as an opportunity to announce that the opposition has been formed in the Parliament of Georgia. The ruling team announced that it expects the rest of the parties to show up as well. They believe there are a lot of parties who want to enter the parliament but they are “victims of bullying” from other opposition parties. They mean Aleko Elisashvili’s party and a part of Girchi.

The opposition considers the Georgian Dream’s celebrations to be ungrounded as four members won’t create an opposition force. The UNM member Tina Bokuchava believes that the ruling team is trying to create an impression of Democracy. The opposition has made it clear that they believe the four MPs who entered the Parliament are not part of the Alliance of Patriots, but- businessmen. Gia Khukhashvili stated that they have invested in politics and gained seats, which they would like to use to their advantage. This surfaced another systemic flaw in Georgian politics- the integration of the business into politics when business makes politics and politics makes business.

The Georgian Dream actively discusses the opposition’s pro-Russian attitude. Irakli Kobakhidze called the part of the Alliance of Patriots that didn’t enter the Parliament, pro-Russian. Kobakhidze expressed his hope that “the 10th Convocation of the Parliament won’t have any pro-Russian forces.” Mamuka Mdinaradze agrees and further claims that the United National Movement and the European Georgia are both pro-Russian and due to this, he wouldn’t want them in the Parliament. The opposition parties consider the government’s comments regarding this comical. The Alliance of Patriots is pro-Russian but how can part of the party be pro-Russian and those who entered the Parliament, pro-West. The UNM and European Georgia parties have reminded Kobakhidze about the time he hosted Gavrilov from Russia and had to resign because of it.

The Georgian Dream will try to convince those parties to enter the Parliament who are easier for them to deal with, while they continue attacking the United National Movement and the European Georgia.
(Translated from Georgian by Mariam Mchedlidze)