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New Adventures of Old Guard

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New Adventures of Old Guard

Second round of the presidential elections is approaching  and, the confronting sides try to ensure a maximal mobilization of their supporters. The main task of the “National Movement” is recruit without pain those voters to voted for Davit Bakradze, in the first round. This is not as easy as it may be seen at one glance.  As to the “Georgian Dream”, for them the most important task  on this stage is to consolidate their disappointed supporters. A high profiled address of Ivanishvili to them and the accompanied measures  served just for this  aim 

About one month ago, Gigi Ugulava applied to Mikheil Saakashvili “He, who is fighting for the power only, will lose it forever, while History will keep only his “me, me, me”, as an exhibition of human and political degradation”. Now, when they met in the city of Finland none of them recalled this episode and, both were trying to underline and demonstrate  that   “National Movement” and “European Georgia” are step forward together, against the current government

Here there is nothing surprising for their opponents, since they were always sure that these two parties are “one and the same”, while their split -n a political game. But, among 175 thousand (almost) votes received by David Bakradze   in the first round, there were votes of those who do not want to have anything common with the “National Movement”, Grigol Vashadze, and their past period /A part of them is  of a liberal orientation, so called middlests while others perceived ed confrontation between National Movement” and “European Georgia” quite seriously. This part looked sometimes as modernists and, “European Georgia” itself, needed first of all to position itself as an independent force, but anyway, an immediate “intimation” cause a certain confusion among the of Euro-Nationals

One of the leaders of “European Georgia” and  member of Gori Sakrebulo  Zviad Sabanadze, together with up to other activists left the party: ”I knew that the “European Georgia” had  nothing common with the “National Movement”  any more, but now everything is unmasked  For me, as well as for my friends, it is unacceptable to work with  the “National Movement” So, I am leaving the “European Georgia”. At one glance,  it is not so important episode, but others too may thing in this way, and this is demonstrated differently in the comments spread over the media and social networks

Leaders of the “European Georgia” have spent lots of time and energy to prove that their party is a force that differs from the “National Movement”  while the “embrace Politics” moves them back, somewhere in the first half of  2017 where nobody perceived their party as the independent force (separate phenomenon). That is why they repeat permanently that their alliance with the “National  Movement” is a temporary circumstance   and that they are not going to say “no” on their valuables.  Last week Giga Bokeria announced  that “their main goal is to ensure victory of Grigol Vashadze on the second round that will be followed by the elections reform and transition to the proportional system for none of the parties  have a power similar to the one the “National Movement” had after the “Roses Revolution” and, to more so, to Ivanishvili has today. This was declared by Gigi Ugulava and we have supported him publicly.  Afterwards, “European Georgia”  and “National Movement” will be opponents again, compete with each other, and, the Georgians will decide who will be in  power and who – in the opposition”

Presumably,    the European Georgia could not go to this path of embracing  that was damaging to its image, if not a hope of win and comeback to the power after passing the following three stages: a) Victory of Vashadze; b) Transition to the proportional system; and c) Winning the Parliamentary Elections. The last case implies receipt of more than 50% of votes by the “National Parties” that gives a chance of forming the government. The final part of Bokeria’s statement is interesting (“who will be in  power and who – in the opposition”) . During the last period, the Nationals from both these parties not so rarely describe with great efforts in the social network an alternative reality “after victory” and “factual 2-partial state” where “National Movement” and “European Georgia” dominate. Probably, hdey7 imply here that on of hem will use the right-wing-populist slogans while the second – liberal one, and as to the “Georgian Dream” , it will be disintegrated after being defeated. We must not exclude that  the “Nationals” consider this version as reality and, think that “Dream” will disappear like the “Union of Citizens” in the past As for another independent and strong political force (especially the conservative force), they will not allow them to become stronger. If Vashadze wins, not excluded  that the process is ended as described above, soon or later, which seemed to be impossible in a near past, among the prevailing strata of the society.

Meanwhile, the leader why caused the situation to come to this point,. factually excused before the population in his  statement, announced important changes, and applied to “Old Guard”, who achieved impossible things during 2012 elections and hat historical days:   “Georgia I one again in need of your loyalty and experience, your civil heroism. I  know you are disappointed and have all reasons to be so, but I promise you, all patriots will find his place by merit, in our unified family nobody will stay without attention” – Bidzina Ivanishvili declared

This statement  shows on which forces Ivanishvili intends to be relied and towards which motivations is appealed. Here it is well seen that he, first of all, appliers to those activists, who are irritated by fact that after the victory they were “lost” by the party, their financial problems were not resolved, and no to those idealists who were not interested in these affairs and were fighting against Saakashvili’s regime because of its inhuman nature. The future events made the situation even more tragicomic. Former Mayor of Tbilisi Davit Narmania declared: “I have never left the guard!” And, and   thousand of persons who were fighting strongly against the old regime, probably thought that these is something different, other guard and, they have  nothing common with it. Appearance  of Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Irakli Garibashvili, activation of party members from low and middle-range circles, etc.,  coincided to this circumstance

Here a terminological nuance is important – Ivanishvili applied  not to the former oppositional movement but to the “Guard” of the “Georgian Dream” and, just the representatives of such guard responded. However, a critical situation probably required to apply also to those people who were fighting against Saakashvili before creation of the “Georgian Dream”  and for this, they did not demand any remuneration – their ideals ae much more weighty resource for by view of mobilization in comparison to mercantile calculations of some party activists. Some  of the representatives of the “old guard” almost  on-line regime started trading with Ivanishvili  and, it became clear in  exchange of what they could help to the party. In general, this  was shoot to a right direction but a bullet missed a target. That is why, even today Ivanishvili  looks at the “2012 idealists” with fear and without trust because he knows  he will never control them fully. It should be noted that during 2016-2017  critiism towards these persons created  the preconditions for lowering the leading party’s rating, because the old supporters of the “Georgian Dream” did not trust the “Nationals” propaganda but were listening to those whom they considered co-patriots in fight The rally held on November 7th and other  events have shown clearly that the government is trying to mobilize the passive voters in Tbilisi, first of all.  Tbilisi  citizens, especially those residing in the central areas of the city, never liked Saakashvili and considered that his supporters wanted to bottom-up ta social pyramid. In this case, an integrating idea is not a support to Salome Zurabishvili, but stop of her competitor (and of restoration   of Saakashvili’s severe regime. As seen, the Nationals know that the leading party’s propaganda works well to this direction, that is why they(Vashadze, Bokeria, others) every day assure us that the old regime will not come back and the new power will have different format and style of governance.

But, despite the fact that the “Georgian Dream” goes to the right way in this case (to add here announcing the new social programs) in general, their election campaign still  remains inflexible makes many mistakes. Nothing can be done here, since the kleptocratic vertical welded by nepotism cannot provide creative impulses and, tries to gain advantage on account of excessive resources. This is nothing else but a political impotence. Considering that on his stage the chances of “Dream” is slightly higher, strategically Ivanishvili may lost even if he ins the second round of the presidential elections by “inertia” and, the prospects of “Dream” during 2018-2020, are rather poor

Dimitri Moniava

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