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Ana Dabrundashvili

Georgia Voted & Got A Two-Party Parliament

Georgia is still in a state of shock after finding out that the country’s ruling elite was changed through elections. And this is hardly an exaggeration. After months of arrests, fist-fights and cursing each other, what was least expected from the Georgian Dream and UNM was their calm acceptance of the election results.

Georgia waits for the UNM and Georgian Dream to co-exist in one parliament (check out the official election results). However, even if the former has declared itself opposition, it does not mean that the two groups will achieve harmony. Despite elections, supporters remain divided and sometimes it still goes down to violence. On Facebook, UNM followers keep posting about robberies, bullying by criminal authorities and so on, claiming that the problems of the 1990s, which Saakashvili’s government has effectively solved, are already returning – Ivanishvili is throwing Georgia back to the past. At the same time those supporting the Georgian Dream assure that their party gained higher result during the elections than it was officially announced. There is a long list of persons, events and even buildings associated with Saakashvili’s government currently not much appreciated by the Georgian Dream and its supporters.  Ivanishvili even talked about Saakashvili’s resignation, but later explained that it was just a suggestion.

Nevertheless, when it comes to forming the new government, it could be far more than a slight suggestion. The President and the Parliament now share power. There are many people from Saakashvili’s government that Georgian Dream members would rather see in prison than among authorities of the country; thus, former rulers might need to make some sacrifices. Lawyers and civil society activists have finally taken up with the constitution itself to find out how the power is distributed – the document has not been in high demand for a long time, as getting the confidence vote for a government was rather a symbolic act, briefly referred to in the news.

Mikheil Saakashvili will probably have to go along with the majority of Ivanishvili’s choices. His only weapon is the right to dismiss the parliament, which, however, can be done only six months after the parliamentary elections and six months before the presidential ones, scheduled for 2013. Thus, Saakashvili has no time. Yet even if he had, it would take much courage to take such a drastic step after a year-long nationwide nerve-racking campaign. Perhaps it should not be forgotten that it was Saakashvili’s speech on 2 October that ensured the end of this stressful period… at least partly. It might not be his best-remembered speech; nevertheless, it was one of those moments of President Saakashvili when he acts like a true leader instead of a madman – in contrary to common.

There are rumors that UNM members and supporters will try to destabilize the country to prove that the Georgian Dream was the wrong choice. People also whisper that some governmental figures could be sent to jail. Others claim that Ivanishvili will invite some of UNM members to his team and ensure absolute majority. That would put Georgia right in the same spot – under the mono-party rule.

As it is the first time for Georgia when the power is divided between only two parties, everything so far is just hearsay; meanwhile, the outside world has a chance to learn how to spell “Bidzina Ivanishvili” (video above).

Feature photo by Anna Woźniak (source: Flickr

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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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