Will the Saint Bidzina Give Up Bidzina Ivanishvili / News / News agency Inforos
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Will the Saint Bidzina Give Up Bidzina Ivanishvili

Parliamentary Elections in Georgia to Be Held on St. Bidzina Day, October 1

Will the Saint Bidzina Give Up Bidzina Ivanishvili

Saakashvili hopes to defeat Ivanishvili on St. Bidzina Day, October 1. It is this day that the Georgian authorities have assigned for the elections to the parliament. The amended electoral registers have been submitted to the Central Election Commission, and the latter declared itself to be ready for the elections and announced the list of officials not allowed to campaign and participate in promotional activities. Under the laws, members of electoral committees, judges, officials from law enforcement agencies and intelligence services, ombudsman, etc are excluded from Georgia's active political life for the pre-election period. Campaigning in public institutions, military units, ships is prohibited too.

The known Georgian political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze noted that contrary to some assumptions, the authorities did not buy time.

"They seem to believe that at a short interval it would be easier for them to succeed than for the opponents," he said. President Mikhail Saakashvili announced that the parliamentary elections will be the most transparent and fair, they "will be controlled by an unprecedented number of international observers who will arrive in Georgia long before the October 1." Meanwhile, prominent representatives of the ruling National Movement noticed that the opposition Georgia Dream did not sign the memorandum on the ethics of political parties for the pre-election period, and suggested that this coalition, led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili is prepared to "play a game".

The Dreams press speaker, Maya Panjikidze, however, rejected these accusations, saying that the coalition refused to sign the document because the government simply appropriated the work of several NGOs and political organizations that worked on the code of ethics, adding only one item with a promise not to use administrative resources. "What did we have to sign if we do not have any administrative resource ourselves? Let the "Nationals" to sign, and most importantly, fulfill this promise," said the spokesperson.

At the same time, generally speaking, she for the first time admitted the possibility of some post-election incidents. Panjikidze expressed her hope that the National Movement by signing a code of ethics will implement it and really will make it possible to conduct fair elections, but if it is not, the Georgia Dream will exercise its constitutional right and will protest in the street.

The Georgian blogosphere believes that things are coming to it with rapid stride. The Internet is full of messages and assumptions that the "nationals" will give Bidzina Ivanishvili no way to win under any circumstances; even now he is in effect deprived of doing anything (his very nearly every action is accompanied by multi-million dollar fines from regulatory bodies). The billionaire's all accounts, financial and business resources are under strict control, and he has nothing to do but rely on pure votes only. In this case there is no doubt that to balance these voices the authorities will run all the administrative resources.

Some of the most active Facebook users pay attention to the fact that the elections are scheduled for October 1 - in Georgia it is a Day of the holy martyr Bidzina by the Church calendar. The coincidence can hardly be called accidental. In post-Soviet Georgia, this kind of "mystical manifestations" when some political event and a historical date or a religious holiday are superimposed, is not uncommon. It can be also assumed that the authorities plan to give up for lost the political ambitions of his main opponent - Bidzina Ivanishvili just on the Day of St. Bidzina. Such cynicism fits into their style totally.

Many people agree with this point of view, noting that exactly cynicism, lie, bragging of the authorities are due in no small part to make the society hopping mad. "I'll vote for the Georgian Dream not because I believe much in Ivanishvili's populist promises but in order that government's daily lies is over," one Facebook user writes.

However, with such "perkiness" pessimism simultaneously appears too. Someone claims that four years ago, Saakashvili surprisingly easy rose to provocations and sent troops to South Ossetia, because in autumn he was expecting mass protests against the fraudulent results of presidential and parliamentary elections - in the winter and spring of 2008, respectively. "He will not give up what belongs to him also now, and it is not for nothing that he had have a personnel reshuffle in the Interior Ministry," says the "pessimist".

Personnel reshuffle means the appointment of Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia - a man that is said to have no barriers. He, being the head of the Georgian penal system, restored order in prisons with an iron fist, forcing their inhabitants to live strictly according to the orders of prison, repressing very strictly all manifestations of discontent. His predecessor, Vano Merabishvili, who became prime minister, can not be called feeble - it is quite under his ruling the opposition campaigns were cruelly dispersed, as being in conflict with the law. But the "Akhalaia factor" is in the current Georgian society a kind of "sign of intimidation", and his appointment as minister may be regarded as "an ominous hint" of the authorities.

But one should not believe that the National Movement's arsenal includes only force, administrative resources and the repressive apparatus, and this may prevent the Georgia Dream of succeeding in parliamentary elections. According to recent surveys conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI), the Nationals in the upcoming elections can secure up to 40% of the vote. And although the opposition calls this figure "inflated", the total number of employees of environmental authorities, power departments, state employees, activists of the National Movement, plus their families - and they are all the electorate of the authorities indicates that, if the IRI is wrong, it is not fatal.

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