A real ancient Greek type of drama is happening in Georgian politics. Although the actors have stayed the same, clearly the roles have changed. The ex-United National Movement members blame the officials of the current majority party for executing systematic violence. The detonator for these changes was the uninvestigated case of two murdered schoolboys, which first triggered the dismissal of the Chief Prosecutor and later of the whole government.
The wave of protests “Don’t Kill Me” became a nightmare for Georgian Dream (GD). Six years since the party came to power, citizens hit the streets demanding legitimate answers from them. Some years ago, the current government was in the opposition and demanding the same of the infamous Girgvliani case. Although GD argues the case is different, we can still see the similarities and that both cases are connected by the high-level protection of those who are guilty. Despite these similarities, the political processes are developing differently. In 2007, the government did not fulfill any of the resignation demands of the people, instead raiding the rally and setting early presidential elections.
Unlike the UNM, GD chose a different path, firstly satisfying one demand by dismissing the Chief Prosecutor, and secondly by sending home the Prime Minister and his whole government with him. Demands met, government dismissed, investigation ongoing- so the crisis should be over, but it is apparent that the government is heading towards another crisis unconnected with the protestors.
GD is not working the way it did before. A very clear illustration of this is this week’s GD party meeting, where certain news was announced, only to be denied hours later. There are rumors that some members no longer obey the leadership and even argue back. The farewell speech of PM Kvirikashvili was a clear confirmation of this, not to mention the information on social media which suggested the PM was against his resignation and told Ivanishvili so.
Although Kvirikashvili took it back within 24 hours, the precedent of disobedience is noted. Our electorate is more than anything an “observer” sitting in front of the TV and watching the “gladiators” in battle. During elections, they vote for the ones who are stronger. The weaknesses of the GD gladiators is apparent, but although the second gladiator is in Amsterdam and quite far from the epicenter, the latter still manages to push gladiators on stage, weakening his opponents before the upcoming crucial battle.
In short, we are now witnessing a very difficult and dangerous game. After steeping down from his PM post, Ivanishvili stated that only the “Second Coming” could make him return to politics. Apparently, it has already started, as Ivanishvili is back. However, it is still unknown and unpredictable for whom it will be Judgment Day – him or Misha?
By Zaza Jgarkava
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