Political master classes
By Messenger Staff
Thursday, November 21
Now that Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili has resigned from the political scene, we will try to somehow analyze and assess his short political life.
Why did Ivanishvili enter politics? For many people in the western countries, going into politics means challenging their potential or represent their dedication to serving their country.
It is a popular understanding of joining politics in Georgia that being in politics means having power. Power means rights. And both of these mean welfare.
It is a regular option in the West that people go into politics after they accumulate a certain amount of personal wealth so that they can dedicate themselves to the service of the country.
Here in Georgia, most of the wealth is accumulated by people after they come to power. In western countries there is an age limit for a person who wants to be a part of politics.
In Georgia people can become involved in politics in their early 20s without even completing their university studies.
The former Georgian administration had given the example when people achieved high-ranking official status without having received their full university background.
So why did multi-billionaire Ivanishvili enter politics? Was it his intention to invest money in politics and accrue more money? Definitely not. Was it an attempt to receive additional influence, power and rights over the state? Certainly not. Was it a patriotic wish to establish the rule of a law in the country and to oversee the welfare of his compatriots? Most probably, yes.
On October 5, 201,1 the great Georgian philanthropist who, altogether, contributed almost $1 billion USD to various charity activities in Georgia, including paying survival salaries to thousands of Georgian people from the arts – writers, poets, artists, singers, musicians, composers, actors and actresses, supported construction and reconstruction of theaters, opera house, libraries, hospitals, etc, made a statement that after witnessing the manipulations in the election of 2008, he made the decision to assist the oppositional forces, and to take positive steps and therefore after observation he became convinced that without his personal involvement in the process it would be difficult to achieve significant results in the country.
Therefore, Ivanishvili decided to personally participate in the political process, stay in politics for about 2-3 years, become a Prime Minister, regulate and settle the situation in the Georgian politics and then resign from active politics. He did not want to conduct himself as his predecessors- who tried to adjust the legislation, the constitution, and other state mechanisms, tailoring them to their personal needs, interests and benefits.
Two years have passed and Ivanishvili has resigned.
What are his achievements so far? First of all, as a result of his efforts it has become possible that a ruling force was defeated by a new one and removed peacefully through the election.
It should be mentioned that UNM had done everything possible to win the election. They used administrative resources, practiced intimidation, arrests, threatened and blackmailed. Unusually high financial sanctions were levied on the oppositional Georgian Dream coalition headed by Ivanishvili, but, nevertheless, his coalition won the election.
The second achievement is that Georgia for the first time since regaining its independence did not forcefully remove the president but waited for the expiration of all the terms of his presidency.
Although there were temptations to remove Mikheil Saakashvili before November 17, the day when the new president was inaugurated, Ivanishvili tolerated Saakashvili until that very day and allowed him to finish his term peacefully.
Ivanishvili released the police force from political influence. The police today serve the people, not a party.
The population became free. There is no fear in the country because of a position and values different from the administration.
Ivanishvili’s administration lifted pressure from the businesses that were suppressed by the UNM administration.
The list of Ivanishvili’s achievements could be prolonged, but there is one which we should mention by all means. This is the resignation of the Prime Minister. One can hardly find such precedents. Usually, politicians cling to their chairs. They do not want to give-up. Power gives them confidence and one needs an enormous level of moral strength to give up the temptation of enjoying the power.
This is the character of people and it is very difficult for successful athletes, dancers, singers and politicians as well, to leave the podium.
But he did it!