An interview with economic analyst, scientist, former MP and Head of the Chamber of Control (in the regions), Demur Giorkhelidze.
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, June 27
The Georgian government has recently back-tracked on some of their previous decisions, including its decision regarding the Must Carry proposal. What do you think might be behind this sudden change of heart?
It is obvious that the government changed its position due to serious pressure and not voluntarily. Their former position– disagreeing with Must Carry based on issues within the private sector is nonsense. No one would believe such explanation but a fool, as the government already controls the private sector.
Who is putting pressure on the government? Do you mean international pressure or just internal political forces?
Of course I mean international pressure. There is no political force is the state which might make the government change its attitudes. The non-existence of such a force inside the state has created problems for the ruling administration as well; it has become unbalanced and uncontrolled. Such kind of authority is dangerous both for itself and for the country's interests.
If the government is becoming uncontrollable, how long will this work?
Step by step it will become more uncontrolled, especially now when the political situation has become more competitive. Very soon all political forces will play a game – all against one and such a game will provoke the ruling administration to be more aggressive.
Do you believe the international pressure might make the authorities calm?
International pressure is not main thing; it is more important who is demanding the concessions with ultimatum language. The government might foresee only those indications made by the “most powerful ones."
Even in the case where the government feels it might lose the election?
I can not provide a concrete response in this case. The situation would be very complicated. If there is very strong international pressure, fair elections would be held inside the state; otherwise we would get a complete mess similar to the previous years.
In what case is such strong pressure possible?
In case if elections are held similar to former years, protecting the current Georgian leadership by those who are permanently supporting the Georgian government in the West would be hard. Holding elections with an older manner would discredit the West in Georgian people’s eyes. The West has already made lots of mistakes concerning Georgia. They did not foresee public attitudes, the education level, and the fundamental cultural values and nearly sacrificed Georgian people’s too positive views towards the West to one political group’s support. There are some western leaders and some heads of institutions making inadequate statements; they did not think how Georgians take such statements.
So, you think that the Georgian government is still favored by the West. .. Or do you mean some concrete groups or leaders?
I would say that some influential western groups and some definite parts various governments still support Georgian government. However, global politics play a very serious role. The current Georgian ruling administration acts based on international interests, they agree on what the "most powerful ones" demand from Georgia. Such a situation is dangerous for the state, as global political reality is changing and we are still living in the past.
In cases where the ruling administration provides a profitable position for the international community, is it possible for the West to “close its eyes" to unfair elections?
Conducting elections freely should be based on internal resources, meaning inter party agreement and inter-balancing. If there is a lack of inner balance and setting strict political pressure on the government, the ruling administration would do what it wishes and the West would clap their hands if the West saw that no one would oppose the government inside. However, the current political reality is different and the West also feels it. The elections would also specify the Georgian people’s attitude to the West. If the West ignores the public interest and still supports one political group, its image would be seriously damaged.
How would you asses the actions of opposition political forces? How balanced and aimed are their plans and actions? Could they manage to create a "strict pressure environment" on the government?
There are signs of balance in the state.
However, only signs are not enough, how can we achieve a balanced situation?
In this case the main is what Georgian politicians want, whether they have the resource and ambition to form a developed state.
Can you see such kinds of politicians in the state?
Such kinds of people always exist. However, such a situation might be crated when the category might face the serious threat of destruction. However the oppositional charge which has been created in the public is less able to be annihilated. Suppressing it would be a crime as well.