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Georgian Dream Declares West as Enemy of Georgia

By Malkhaz Matsaberidze
Friday, May 10, 2024
The leaders of Georgian Dream have been criticising and actively distancing themselves from the West for a long time, but everything was finally made clear by Bidzina Ivanishvili's speech at the counter rally organised by the government on April 29. It turned out that the leader of Georgian Dream unequivocally supports anti-Western policy and threatens with repression. It was also said that the current government needs the Law on Foreign Agents to protect itself from threats from the West, represented by the "Global War Party" and non-governmental organisations.

Georgian Dream claims to be the defender of Georgia's sovereignty, but they never mention Russia, which occupies one-fifth of Georgia's territory. According to them, Georgia's sovereignty is threatened by the West. Ivanishvili said that the West is organising the revolution and destabilisation in Georgia. It was the West, through non-governmental organisations funded by it, that brought the "pseudo-elite raised by a foreign country" to power in 2003 - the United National Movement under the leadership of Mikheil Saakashvili.

According to Ivanishvili, the "Saakashvili regime" supported by the West committed many crimes during its rule, in 2003-2012, but the West didn't stop there - they appointed the UNM as Georgian Dream's main opposing force.

Ivanishvili said that after the victory in the 2024 parliamentary elections, the National Movement will be tried as a criminal organisation. The fact of the matter is that as per the terminology of Georgian Dream, all opposition parties represent "radical opposition", and are referred to as "collective national movement". Therefore, the entire opposition spectrum is threatened with prosecution.

According to Ivanishvili, the Foreign Influence Law is needed in order to stop non-governmental organisations operating with funding from the West. However, according to him, the threat from the West does not end there.

Georgian Dream and Ivanishvili speak about the "Global War Party", which is trying to drag Georgia into the war, and declare the avoidance of war to be the merit of Georgian Dream. By "global war party", of course, the ruling party means our Western partners.

After blaming the West for all the misfortunes of the Georgian lama and announcing repressions, Bidzina Ivanishvili promised the public that Georgia will become a member of the European Union in 2030. The promise is strange given that if the "Russian Law" is adopted and Georgian Dream remains in power with the current policy, the European Union will not only not start negotiations with Georgia regarding the accession, but also the candidate status may be suspended.

Ivanishvili also stated that he has always made and continues to make correct political calculations. Therefore, he is confident in the success of his future plans and cannot be defeated, adding he is "neither Shevardnadze nor Yanukovych".

Shevardnadze resigned and as he said, "went home". We already know that Ivanishvili is not planning on this. As for Yanukovych, he shed blood. There is a bit of uncertainty here as to what it means to "not be Yanukovych" - will Ivanishvili not shed blood or go further than Yanukovych. Ultimately, however, even if the order is given to shed blood, the rest will depend on law enforcement and riot police - are they ready for it?

The conflict continues, and both sides hope that they are more durable than the other. Georgian Dream hopes to extinguish the protest charge with strict repression, and the participants of the protest hope that the security forces will finally give up protecting Ivanishvili's regime.

It is clear that Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream bet unequivocally on Putin's Russia and expect his victory in the war with Ukraine. It is another matter whether they did it on their own or they are acting on the instructions received from Moscow. They can only hope for support from the North in their confrontation with the West or civil society.

According to Ivanishvili, it is better to exhaust the protest movement in the same way and break it, which will make it possible to hold the elections in a "peaceful situation" in the fall. However, nobody is talking about the elections anymore and it is difficult to say how the country will reach the elections in such a situation.

The situation can be relieved momentarily by recalling the "Russian Law", which was adopted by the parliamentary majority in the second reading on May 1. 83 people decide the fate of the country and in fact refuse the western orientation of the country fixed in the constitution.

In such a situation, the solution may be to hold a plebiscite on the need for a Russian law. However, during his 12-year stay in power, Georgian Dream has never addressed the people to understand his will.

The government tried to create a surrogate of the "people's will" by conducting a contraction on April 29, when people employed in state structures were brought from the regions en masse. The opposition perceives the majority of the populace as sympathetic to their cause, a sentiment evidently reflected in the continuous surge of protests gaining momentum.