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Nana Kakabadze: The government to some extent remained in the political past

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Nana Kakabadze

When speaking in one of the TV programs about the  forthcoming parliamentary elections, Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Archil Talakvadze said that the government is  ready to form a coalition with those parties that would have a coherent value.

He said that in today’s parliament he does not see such forces, but there are subjects inn the political spectrum with whom the ruling team has this coherence: “We have valuable coincidence with the parties we worked with in the previous elections, which are in our majority today, and maybe tomorrow a new political party may appear with whom we may have coherent values ​​…On the question of a leader of the same program  whether Dream can form a coalition with former Republican Party of Georgia (DPA) Davit Usupashvili’s “Building Movement”, Archil Talakvadze said that if he (Usupashvili’s party) enters parliament, they will discuss it. According to him, it is important that the coalition (if it is formed) does not fall into the “destructive forces”, whose visions and ideologies contradict the “Dream’s” declared  policy. . . 

At the time when Bidzina Ivanishvili founded the Georgian Dream coalition, it was precisely on the principle of value coherence that the Republican Party (whose leaders subsequently proclaimed solidarity with the failed parade of homosexuals, on  the background of LGBT flag),   the Free Democrats (one of the most active supporters of the Antidiscrimination Law ), “National Forum” (which at  the beginning as if tried to form a conservative wing,  but were then  “blended” after the coalition have been “n in the “Coalition’s” “Neoliberal” policy), etc.  As for the separated from the Republican Party “Building Movement” and its leader, with whom Talakvadze does not exclude cooperation, I would like to note that David Usupashvili, as earlier as his being the Parliament Speaker, indicated that a individual’s freedom is the  most important thing  and, not the love of the homeland or the patriotism and dedication, but the love of freedom he  instills in his own child. It was Usupashvili’s political milieu in support of the abolition of compulsory military service, the initiator of lifting all restrictions on the sale of land to foreigners, in favor of granting legal status to various religious denominations in Georgia, etc.  However, despite the underlying ideological-political transformations that are taking place in the world, which is at the heart of the “liberal” agenda, Bidzina Ivanishvili, the head of the Georgian Dream, is not going to bet on a conservative wing, but to return old, marginal faces to the coalition.

What “value” does the Dream have with the same “building movement” today, what are the criteria for the parties to be selected in the future coalition, and what political configuration will it create?

Human rights activist Nana Kakabadze discusses there issues with  “Georgia and the World”.

– Mrs. Nana, Archil Talakvadze recently said that, if necessary, the government will  form a coalition with the parties with which it has “coherence in values”. What do you think is the main political value of today’s “Georgian Dream” and not just the political value that can unite it with someone?

–   Let’s start with the fact that the 2020 elections are an unusual event for the Georgian political reality, because until now, in our practice, no elections have been held with the proportional system . Therefore, it is natural that the government is thinking about further steps and how the government can be staffed. Of course, in the “dream” they also understand  that they may have to form a coalition and this will have some precursor processes. As for the statement of the Speaker of Parliament, Talakvadze could say that they would not cooperate with the criminals. I mean the National Movement, along with the parties that separated from it, and it would be perfectly logical, but he didn’t make an emphasis on this issue. Why? Let Talakvadze himself explain this. Let’s look at the fact objectively. I have the impression that the government to some extent remained in the political past. What may have been politically profitable years ago, both domestically and internationally, and is obsolete now, is still the  mainstream rhetoric of the leading party .

– What exactly do you mean?

-, For example, the rhetoric is often heard that, if not the “Dream”,  there will be the “National Movement”, a violent, criminal party, and the country will return to its dreadful past. It is not said so  straightforward and with  open texts, , but the hints are obvious. The strategy and the key message to the electorate that  they must  vote to “Dream” for the “National Movement” not  to return back,  remained largely unchanged. However, we can see that the society has  even forgotten not restored or failed to be restored justice;   Unfulfilled promises have been forgotten and the main expectation is to establish an alternative political core. The government cannot or does not understand this, but it cannot or is not going to  change essentially  a reality, so and we are in swamp.

As for the coherence of values, Mr. Talakvadze should understand that the majority-elected government should not have a coherent or divisive value with the three-percent Republicans as well as with the unrated and unproven “building movement” but with the people. above all. The people is  the main power and legitimator of the government,  otherwise, all of us know what they received when  in the past the Dream created the coalition with  the political corpses. Let me repeat: Neither the “Building Movement”  nor the Republican Party and other such entities have anything to do with Georgian society. Consequently, if any of the leading figures in the “Dream” starts talking about what these parties may have in common, it will be a clear message to the public. If there is somebody  sensible and thinker in the governing team he/she  must understand what such the messages may bring to the party  that is in a political crisis  now. . .

-, You mentioned alternative third power. The world, and especially Europe, is changing at an amazing speed today. Ideological-political changes have affected almost every western country. Do you think Georgia has the opportunity to make such changes?

–  Georgia has its own set of values, traditions and ethno-cultural characteristics, which differs from the European one. Therefore, to be honest, I think it’s a little  exaggeration to expect that if the West is changing,  here also the changes are inevitable. This does not in itself mean the same thing.  As for the alternative, what is good about healthy political competition, but the fact is, the current political agenda has no real counterbalance to it yet. Whether it’s good or bad, it’s another matter. For some, it’s probably good, for others –  bad.

-, However, given that conservative forces in the West are growing stronger, there are some subjects here too, including liberal ones, attempting to transform themselves into the national power. For example, Mikheil Saakashvili declared himself a patriotic leader of temple building, recently Giga Bokeria mentioned in one of his speeches God and Homeland … What does all this mean?

-, I am far from and always will be away from the idea that Bokeria or Saakashvili have principles. There is no such Bokeria  and Saakashvili in nature. Consequently, I am always surprised and surprised by people who naively believe that one or the other is an ideal liberal and that they do not betray their ideology. However, I agree with you that the political shifts in the West are giving them some impetus. Well, to tell the truth, I expect others to see Saakashvili’s similar transformation into a national spirit in the future. For example, I would not be surprised if, as a matter of fact, Mrs. Chergoleishvili starts singing  with the  patriotic notes, one day. I expect the same from the foreign-funded  so-called  NGOs too. Generally, all their  strategies and approaches are built on the pursuit of benefits – where they see some political and financial dividends, they immediately appear there .

-, Will all this  have an impact on public sentiment? 

-, Anyway, our nearest past tells us one thing: In 2003, when the United National Movement staged a coup d’etat, the Nationalists cried out that all this was needed for more democracy. They came to power and how they understood democracy, we all saw – we got enslaved courts, enslaved justice, an unprecedented number of prisoners, including illegal prisoners … In a word, a regime that we could not get rid of for nine years. As for the sentiments of the society, I don’t think our society is that forgetful, but some naive part will probably still believe in correction of  Saakashvili or Bokeria. This is exactly what they are counting on, and we are likely to hear many more political “confessions” tomorrow. But I have said it over and will repeat it again: any resurgence of the “National Movement” or  fractured-from-it  parties does not mean their rise as subjects of power, but the uniqueness of the government, and its deliberate harmful policy of blackmailing and threatening the public. This must end and at least some degree of political justice be established in the country. Then it is up to the free society to decide what ideological and political agenda it will establish.

Finally, I will say again the statement of the Speaker of Parliament and conclude with this: If Mr. Talakvadze thinks that the government is ideologically aligned with the “building movement”, then he automatically thinks that the same government has ideologically quite  another  way   that differs from its people’s  ideology. The prospect of such a force, and especially of a particular figure, is very doubtful too: Such power, whether willingly or unwittingly, pushes people to end its existence as a governmental team once and for all …

Interviewed by Jaba Zhvania 

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