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Ana Dabrundashvili

Georgia Votes: Dawn of the Final Battle

Political parties make final moves against each other as less than a week is left till the parliamentary elections. It seems that all that they have on each other will be laid out this week. A week after the prison abuse scandal, politicians have cleared up their heads and remembered that elections are right in front of them, foremost the UNM and Georgian Dream.

After the Prison Abuse Scandal

The ruling party was fast to take actions and those are not only about reformation of penitentiary system. Around twenty people associated with the Coalition “Georgian Dream” were arrested on minor charges. In one of the videos released, Ivanishvili’s nephew is seen bribing a policeman. Few other videos taken by hidden camera are released. Some say the videos are staged claiming that they’ve noticed those in video looking directly into camera, which is supposed to be hidden. The latest video released on Tuesday, depicts ex-State Minister Goga Khaindrava, who is a passionate critic of the government, together with organized crime members, “thieves-in-law”.

NGOs and international organizations have expressed their concerns over arrests, as they always do.

Meanwhile, Georgian media protest against filming restriction during elections: 

President Mikheil Saakashvili also spoke about a plan to derail Georgia from its path developed by “those” who released the prison abuse videos before the elections. “Those” largely refers to the Coalition and, according to the President, the grand plan failed. There are the same cheering crowds to meet Saakashvili as he tries to make scores even with Ivanishvili.

Stay calm…

Bidzina Ivanishvili also manages to gather a crowd. A campaign rally was held in Zugdidi, western Georgia. Ivanishvili called on protesters to keep calm. Georgian Dream, silently observing how UNM copes with the prison scandal, tries to make it all civilized from its side – urging protesters to wait till elections. Few years back, Georgian opposition would gather crowds in the street, kicking and screaming. Ivanishvili, perhaps rightfully, chose more peaceful path.

Meanwhile, a tape of a telephone conversation was released in social media, arguably between Merabishvili and the President. Though Merabishvili jokes about rape and talks on arrest deals, the tape is probably falsified.

Georgians are bombarded with news from all sides. Videos and audios keep falling from the heavens and what is left is Saakashvili’s word against Ivanishvili’s. Since truth has become such a luxury, one just needs to follow one’s heart and choose – whether to believe in Misha or in Bidzina.

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Georgia Votes!

The featured image by Shioshvili

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Ana is from Tbilisi, Georgia, where she currently works for the Caucasus Research Resource Centers. She has an MA in International Relations and BA in Journalism. Pursues writing in free time and is interested in literature.

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