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Party switching among Georgian politicians

By Messenger Staff
Friday, August 23
Of the 30 or so political parties registered in Georgia, only a dozen or so are large enough worth mentioning. Georgian politicians often move from one political party to another. For the most part, such moves have no ideological basis and are merely for personal benefit. So far this month more than 100 figures have moved from the Georgian Dream coalition to Nino Burjanadze’s Democratic Movement-United Georgia. Some observers think this signifies the beginning of the end for the Georgian Dream coalition. Georgian Dream vigorously denies this.

Apparently those who have left Georgian Dream did so because they were deeply dissatisfied with the Georgian Dream government's accommodation towards the United National Movement (UNM). Burjanadze, meanwhile, promises to destroy the UNM if she comes into power. Other political analysts think that those who left Georgian Dream did so because they had expected to receive high-ranking positions in the government; when they didn't they expressed their disappointment by moving to Burjanadze's party.

Such conduct of ordinary party members is not surprising when one considers the example set by so-called political leaders. Giving a quick glance at the spectrum of high-ranking politicians in Georgia, one cannot help noticing many faces that used to belong to different parties. For instance, many leaders of the UNM were in the top echelon of Eduard Shevardnadze’s Citizen’s Union and among the Georgian Dream leaders some figures used to belong to various other political parties.

A journalist from Akhali Taoba has called such people political kangaroos-they keep jumping from one warm place to another

The major aim of such actions is personal benefit. Expect more switches of political allegiance before the presidential election in October.