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Campaigning suspended temporarily

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, August 8
The major Georgian political parties have suspended their pre-election campaign and have announced a “ceasefire” for August 7-8 while commemorating observing the 4th anniversary of the war between Russia and Georgia in 2008. The initiative was spearheaded by the United National Movement. However, this break is unlikely to make the competition less fierce.

On August 6, Secretary General of the United National Movement, Mikheil Machavariani, announced the decision to put a halt on political campaigning for two-days and encouraged all Georgian political entities to follow suit. This is to pay tribute to the memory of those who sacrificed their lives for Georgia’s territorial integrity. Other parties joined the initiative including the major opponent of the ruling party – Georgian Dream, which the ruling administration has accused of supporting Russia several times in the past.

These days the Georgian media is full of articles and speculation about the possible threat from Russia. Mamuka Areshidze, an expert on Caucasus issues and majoritarian candidate from the Georgian Dream coalition, thinks that panic concerning a possible Russian invasion is an artificial creation. According to him the ruling authorities want to aggravate the situation by portraying the Georgian Dream coalition as Georgia’s enemy, thus supporting the allegations of its pro Russian orientation. Some Georgian analysts keep repeating that the Saakashvili administration is the one who is playing the pro-Russian game.

So, the Russian card is played by both sides– the ruling power and the Georgian Dream coalition and it is very difficult to identify the reality. It will be a catastrophe for Georgia if any of the sides is right and moreover, if both are cooperating with Russia.