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Two Political Tribes at War: Will a Third Emerge on the Scene?

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, December 20
Bidzina Ivanishvili’s entrance on to the political scene and establishment of a public movement made it clear to the country that an alternative centre of political activities to the ruling United National Movement has emerged. Georgian analysts now keep discussing whether the political spectrum will have two poles only or whether a third power will appear. Opposition parties are attracted by Ivanishvili’s figure, they are sure that only through unison will it be possible to create an alternative to the current ruling power. Republicans, Free Democrats, Conservatives, the People's Party and some politicians have already taken the step of supporting Ivanishvili. Conservative leader Zviad Dzidziguri stated that the population strives for an alternative force, so it does not matter who are the founders of this force. The most important thing is that such a force was born. However, there are some other opposition parties still in the country which are not invited by Ivanishvili into his coalition. These are political entities which are not officially with the ruling power but they are not anyway affiliated with Ivanishvili's amalgamation. These are the Christian Democrats, the New Rights and National Democrats. This group claim to be a third political power in the country. The leader of the National Democrats Bachuki Kardava stated that while two sides confront each other, there is room for third moderate, centrist, western-oriented power which would prevent either the ruling force or Ivanishvili's union monopolising the political spectrum.

There is no doubt that two party system is better than a one party system and many will agree as well that in principle a three party political spectrum would be even better. However, analysts suggest that there is no political tradition in Georgia to have a three party spectrum that mostly there is a ruling party and an opposition which targets the removal of the ruling party and confrontation becomes very fierce and merciless. Nevertheless, the possibility of an emergent force in Georgia is quite realistic, though their chances to receive a majority in parliament are very small. The ruling power meanwhile claims that it is the leading pro western force whereas the Ivanishvili amalgamation is a Russian project. In response Ivanishvili several times declared that he supports Georgia’s NATO and EU integration but he also aims at regulating relations with Russia. The forces who wish to become a third political centre also have pro western claims, however there is still one political power – Labour – which makes ungrounded claims against the west. Which political bloc will succeed is not clear however the contours of a real political battle fought over concrete visions of Georgia's future are beginning to emerge and that can only be a good thing.