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Balance of Power in Georgian politics

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, October 26
There is much speculation in both the Georgian political establishment and the media concerning the recent public polling results published by the Greenberg Quilan Rosner company. (The Messenger published details of this research in Monday’s edition) This type of research is usually published during pre-election campaigning to show the balance of power and predict possible outcomes. However this particular poll was done well in advance of the election period. A point worth noting is that this is the company which carried out analogous polling for the ruling National Movement in Georgia. So to carry out such expensive research in the mid-term period is a surprise for Georgians. However it should be mentioned that the research has proved rather timely from the ruling power’s point of view as it has yielded some political dividends for the ruling administration. Firstly, the poll confirms to Georgia’s western allies and friends that the National Movement and its leader Saakashvili are highly rated, thus any claims of the current president to become PM after his term expires are based on serious grounds. Secondly it gives positive information to the Georgian population on high ratings for the solid leadership of the ruling power, helping to secure its victory should snap parliamentary elections be necessary as a result of possible protest rallies by the opposition or some other unexpected developments. In this case the ruling administration could be quite confident as it could accept the opposition’s demands and hold snap elections while with near certainty be able to safely secure its victory. Every item in the above-mentioned polling results shows the overwhelming leadership of the current administration. The official authorities representing the National Movement satisfactorily claim that the ruling party has the complete support of the Georgian population and it is reinforcing its plans to stay in power indefinitely. As usual, the opposition is challenging the results of the poll, labeling them as a PR stunt ordered and paid for by the ruling party. It largely states the respondents rarely give truthful answers.

But one way or other these are the results and they should be duly considered. Some opposition members still believe that amendments will be made to the elections code definitely securing fair and transparent elections, while other serious opposition forces are aiming to carry out a big wave of protest rallies starting in November.

Unfortunately for them, there is no unity in the opposition. Representatives of both lines of opposition tactics think that the alternative way is wrong, so under the current situation the ruling power is certainly in the lead, taking its advantage from the division and the chaotic moves of the opposition.