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How about the opposition 8?

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 22
After the crackdown of the May 26 rally, the radicals disappeared from the current political scene having failed and been discredited. Therefore the opposition spotlight fell back on to the so called opposition 8. These were the parties which had been in negotiations with the government concerning improvements to the elections environment.

It should be said that the entire opposition spectrum is acknowledging that there are no conditions in Georgia whatsoever for holding fair, transparent and just elections. The radical opposition tried to justify its aggression with this fact but it failed. So the scene is again open for the moderate opposition which had already been in negotiations with the government over the elections issue. The negotiations were conducted for almost a year but no viable results were achieved. The ruling administration did not make any concessions and did not even give a definite answer to the Opposition 8's demands. Finally the eight demanded from the ruling power to consider two main proposals: holding elections with biometric IDs and radical changes in the majoritarian districts. Both of these questions were eventually ignored by the ruling power.

So what are the plans of the 8? Ultimately it is balanced, on one hand hinting that the developments might go into a radical direction if the ruling authorities do not make any concessions but at the same time relying on appropriate western pressure on the administration.

In reality it appears that they still may be doomed to failure. The ruling party appeared victorious after the crackdown of the radicalsí demonstration and it looks like the west is not exercising sufficient pressure to force the government to change the elections law to eliminate manipulations. This political climate will see the Opposition 8 split as some, but not all, of its members are already speculating about a new wave of protest actions.

There seems to be no power or basis for the change of the elections law. Why should the ruling power change it? It feels quite comfortable with the existing elections code. The grounds for putting pressure on it are practically exhausted now as the opposition cling desperately to the good will of the authorities who now look certain to be victorious again. There is only one small issue left and this is that the ruling power must ensure that an opposition participates in the elections; otherwise the westerners will doubt the democratic standards of the elections. Presumably the ruling administration will propose that the opposition parties accept certain concessions, not the principle ones, and thus continue dialogue to create an acceptable show for the west. Presumably this will satisfy all the sides. The ruling power will win the elections, it will allow certain opposition players to enter the parliament and the westerners will consider that democratic elections can happen in Georgia.