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Option for three poles in Georgian politics

By Messenger Staff
Thursday, April 24
Will the Georgian political scene remain with two poles or will any third power be able to create a third pole? This is the burning question, which depends on forthcoming local elections in Georgia.

It is known that the Georgian parliament consists of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition and the now opposition United National Movement (UNM). These two poles in the Georgian political arena substituted a one-pole governance that had existed in Georgia since the Rose Revolution in 2003.

However, parliamentary elections in 2012 have introduced a new reality. Presidential elections in 2013 once again confirmed the priority of those two members of the polar system of Georgian politics.

Although the UNM’s presidential candidate has gained only 20% support, it has still come second.

Representatives of the Georgian Dream coalition claim with confidence that they will gain victory for sure supporting their position with the results of various polling and research.

As for the UNM, they have no delusions of victory, although they highlight that their party has managed to recover from defeat and their electorate is growing.

Analysts keep asking whether this configuration of the political forces in the country is reflecting the reality of the Georgian political scene. It should be mentioned that a certain frustration exists among the Georgian population. Many who have voted for the Georgian Dream expected quick improvement of the social conditions of the people, the restoration of justice, the return of illegally snatched property or positions, the punishment of those who have committed wrongdoings during the UNM governance, among other grievances.

These people feel as if they have been cheated. Their sense of frustration further increased when Bidzina Ivanishvili expressed his dissatisfaction towards President Giorgi Margvelashvili. Overall, Ivanishvili’s resignation from active politics also increased public disappointment.

However, currently the Georgian Dream coalition possesses administrative resources and besides there is not any force visible in the Georgian political spectrum, which could accumulate the part of the electorate that is disappointed with the government and the parliamentary opposition.

The UNM has discredited itself, especially during the last period of its nine-year governance. It is unlikely that the population will return to the UNM. The Georgian Dream coalition, as some analysts suggest meanwhile, also is having problems as its unity has proved eclectic.

Analysts think that certain political forces exist in Georgia, which can attract the votes of those dissatisfied with the leading political forces.

The amalgamation created by Nino Burjanadze has probably the biggest chances to accumulate certain support of the electorate and possibly compete for second place among the current oppositional leaders.

So, those are the chances for the existing leading politicians in the country. However, so far the non-parliamentary opposition still fails to find ways to unite to make a breakthrough and become a real third political force in the country.

There is one more thing remaining – a certain part of the population keeps repeating that it will not go to the polling stations at all as nothing much has changed. It should be mentioned that the actual turnout of the electorate during the parliamentary elections in 2012 had in reality determined the victory of the coalition over the then ruling UNM.