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What do municipal elections reveal about Georgian politics?

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, October 24
In the October 21local government elections, the Georgian Dream (GD) ruling party won an overwhelming victory, gaining most seats in city councils and mayorís offices throughout Georgia.

Now without doubt, Georgia continues its old tradition to havethe one-party governance, however, many understand that this longstanding feature of Georgian politics poses a serious threat to the countryís democratic development.

The Georgian Dream (GD) authorities claim that they will never repeat the mistakes made by the United National Movement (UNM), referring to the infamous cases of UNMís misuse of power.

However, itís obvious there are no guarantees that the power will not be misused, once it predominantly goes into the hands of one party.

The October 21 elections revealed that Georgia desperately lacks opposition parties that could be trusted by the people and would stand as guarantors for a pluralistic society.

Most opposition parties are in urgent need to reconsider and reevaluate their mission and image as well as the role they have played in Georgian politics.

The urge of the electorate to identify a strong opponent to the ruling party is confirmed by the fact that an independent candidate, Aleko Elisashvili, came second after GDís mayoral candidate Kakha Kaladze. This means, the Georgian society is open and willing to discover new faces in politics, however, a path to gaining trust will not be so easy.

All in all, the October elections have passed a test in terms of transparency and fairness, however, the next step should be to avoid one-party dominance.