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The Second Round of Self-Government Elections Has Taken Political Polarization to a New Level

By Malkhaz Matsaberidze
Thursday, November 11
The second round of self-government elections on October 30 yielded the results announced by the ruling National Movement. Authorities won the planned victory everywhere except Tsalenjikha. However, according to the opposition, fair and just elections were not held in Georgia again and the Georgian Dream did not win, rather rigged the elections.

The advantage of the winning Georgian Dream in numbers and percentages does not look very impressive - a few hundred or a thousand votes, which may be less than the number of canceled ballots in the respective constituency. The government and the opposition are trying to present two different pictures of the elections.

According to the Georgian Dream, the elections were held following all the rules and there can be no doubt about another victory of the ruling party. No elections will be held in the country until 2024, the country must calm down and start rebuilding.

The United National Movement and its affiliated opposition parties are talking about total election fraud and a stolen victory. The issue of holding early parliamentary elections has not been removed from the agenda of the opposition. On the contrary, the issue of electoral administration reform has become more active and attached, as election commissions no longer deserve the trust of the opposition and are considered to be falsifiers of the election results.

According to the opposition, it is necessary to open the precinct voter lists first and it will become clear that "election carousels" have been turned in the name of many people in emigration or persons. Name a lot of facts about pressure and bribery on voters.

Opposition members are already demanding that the government show the public the situation of Mikheil Saakashvili in any way, even by taking him to court, which the former president wasn’t allowed to do yesterday. Some thought that after the October 30 elections, the government would take Saakashvili to the hospital or send him abroad for treatment, say after the pardon of President Salome Zourabichvili.

But on November 3, the 34th day of Saakashvili's hunger strike, Zourabichvili said for the second time that she would ‘never pardon’ Saakashvili. The statements of the leaders of the Georgian Dream do not help to ease the situation either.

The Prime Minister announced that according to the law, “a person has the right to commit suicide.” According to Irakli Kobakhidze, Saakashvili's hunger is a simulation. But what will happen and how will things develop if Saakashvili's body can no longer withstand hunger?

Saakashvili has many supporters and sympathizers who are concerned about the health of the third president and are resorting to various forms of protest, including the start of a hunger strike.

Saakashvili himself, despite the aggravation of the situation, is staying motivated and goal-oriented, sending messages through his teammates. According to Saakashvili, on October 30, the people won and an election revolution took place, and the government falsified the election results.

Now there is a post-election revolution in Georgia, which must determine the results of the electoral revolution. Saakashvili, if he manages to get out of prison, promises to “achieve snap elections within 10 days.” In another letter, Saakashvili called on Georgian emigrants to return to their homeland for one day and “this one day will come soon.” Such statements by the starving president are likely to cause concern among the authorities.

Some opposition lawmakers are refusing to run for parliament in protest. Not all oppositionists will do so, but if 37 MPs resign, then constitutional changes will not be possible. The amendments were adopted in the first reading on September 7. According to the draft, the next two elections, which will be held under the proportional system, will be won by the parties that receive 2% of the vote.

This is in the interests of small opposition parties. According to Mikheil Saakashvili, the opposition should leave the parliament only after the adoption of these changes.

After the second round of elections, the word ‘revolution’ is heard more and more often. According to one of the leaders of the opposition in this country, "the election has lost its meaning, because its results are not written by the voters." According to the second opposition leader, if extraordinary elections are not held by 2024, Bidzina Ivanishvili will be able to stifle all the real opposition parties and only puppet opposition will remain on the political scene.

Opposition groups called for a change of government on social media and social media, prompting SUS to announce on November 3 that it had issued public statements calling for “revolution and the violent overthrow of the government, including through violence.” The statement said that a person could be imprisoned for 3 years because of this.

According to the coalition, the government has announced a wave of repression, which will make Georgia even more like Belarus. In response, many oppositionists stated the need for a revolution.