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Meditation on 2012 elections

By Messenger Staff
Friday, February 11
The 2012 parliamentary elections, at first glance, are pretty far away. However time flies quickly and many steps should be taken well in advance. Any kind of activities in the country either by the government or by opposition forces should be targeted towards this event.

Some analysts are pretty sure that the government will organize snap elections. Even politicians agree on that. One of the leaders of the national forum, Gubaz Sanikidze, thinks that the ruling authorities deliberately aggravate the social situation to provoke unrest and, as a result, will hold snap parliamentary elections which they win by all means. Officials however deny such a possibility.

Some of the opposition parties are rather skeptical and aggressive in this direction. They think the government will never conduct free and fair elections and therefore any changes could take place only through acute public actions, perhaps even a revolution. Eight opposition parties meanwhile are conducting regular negotiations with the representatives of the ruling power on improving the elections environment and amending the law appropriately. But the negotiations go very slowly and there is no definite timescale for when it will be finished. Of course one should not have any hope that amendments introduced in the elections code will harm the ruling party’s interests. But negotiations still continue and participating opposition leaders hope for better results, mainly based on western pressure which demands elections to be fair and democratic.

Very active in the opposition spectrum in regards of possible democratic changes in the elections code is Irakli Alasania.

The Saakashvili administration feels itself very comfortable when it possesses a constitutional majority in the parliament. Under the circumstances, the opposition activities could be ignored, just throwing a bone to it from time to time. It was a similar situation during the previous Shevardnadze administration. So, very much depends on the position of Georgia's western friends. It will be interesting to see what position will be taken by Georgia’s western allies if the next election will again be won by the national movement gaining a constitutional majority. Will these results be considered fair and just and will they be assessed as the next step towards victory of democracy in the country.

There is a thought that a monopolistic situation, when only one force possesses the utmost power in the country, does not facilitate the democratic development of the country.

The rumors in Georgian media that out of 150 parliament members 60 should be belong to opposition give ground to speculations that in this case ruling power will not receive constitutional majority. It is not clear however whether this is local initiative or advice from the west. The even figures 60+90 give ground to suggestions that it is promoted from outside because in real life it could be 59 or 61 or some other proportion. If this is the final result then of course the ruling power would need a kind of a coalition and therefore the opposition would receive real power.

It is premature to suggest who will represent the opposition in the next parliament. It is suggested that the Christian Democrats, maybe Alasania’s party and possibly some other opposition representatives will represent the opposition forces in parliament. It has not been excluded that by the time elections are fixed new opposition amalgamations could appear. Some analysts suggest that the ruling power would try to create pseudo opposition organizations which would secure the victory of national movement and eventually its constitutional majority. The major reasons for the parliament majority clinging to the constitutional majority is to secure the PM’s position for Saakashvili, think the analysts. However active speculations are underway that the west will not allow him to do so. In parallel with this there is a version that Saakashvili will become chair of the parliament. There are may rumours, suggestions, predictions and options. Time passes fast and the elections are approaching.