Oddities in the Georgian Presidency

 OP-ED

Years ago, when the incumbent Georgian President was campaigning for offi ce, being promoted and propped up by the most influential political forces of the country, my curiosity found itself on the verge of an angry outburst: why him, and not somebody else who would fi t into the job description just as well or even better? Or, why not me, for instance – a gentleman of suitable count of years, with solid experience in foreign and domestic servitude, fluent in three languages and with a smattering of several others, with high-level diplomatic education, a grandmaster of protocol, equipped with a strong aptitude to handle the royal court intrigues, and simply a nice guy with enough white on the crown, suffering no kinks and not having to brave the eccentricities of his character.

Funny, isn’t it? One might think that I have run amok, but let the doubters rest assured that I am in an enviable cerebral shape. I just wanted to know – why him? Although the question has, in time, turned into a trivial generic query, it might still merit a couple of answers, approximated to affordable truth: impressive physicals, agile mind, notable eloquence, linguistic aptitude, excellent education, years of administrative experience under the belt, and sincerely loved by his powerful promoters. What else could one desire in a out-of-theblue presidential nomination, especially if the wannabe head of state is never to be a decision-maker according to the currently functioning Constitution?

So, the candidacy choice was more than acceptable and optimal! What happened after? What happened after is that a couple of totally unexpected features were accidentally added to the innocuous list of the presidential candidate’s characteristics after the candidate had stepped into presidential office: political ambition, personal pride and desire to play a real part in the nation’s business. Why not, if this is endorsed by the Constitution! If not, then the President, though elected by the people’s direct vote, tends to trigger an actual diarchy in managing the country because in a parliamentary republic, like ours today, it is the Prime Minister who is sitting under the Sword of Damocles, not the President!

It is odd that Georgia is being ruled by five branches of power, not by three, as is commonplace in most countries. Georgia does not need that many levers of management. This is a sheer waste of national energy, which is depleted, as it is even without this deplorable extravagancy! Excessive administrative efforts and infatuation with a big government is conducive to myriad inconveniences and blunders, and on top of that, we don’t look solid enough in the eyes of the friendly western world which would never put up with our irrationality in ruling the nation.

So much for the political side of the current Georgian presidency… On a purely human, let’s call it man-to-man, the weird presidential activity and works thereof have instigated a huge amount of frustration in those unpleasantly surprised strongmen, without whose sincere trust and leading upper hand the guy would never have resided on the enviable throne of the Republic, although visibly symbolic and clearly protocol-oriented. Hence, the onset of a crippled relationship with the ruling party and nonspeaking terms with the present government! Did this exceedingly lucky but not completely appreciative man need this uninvited nauseous headache? Probably not.

So, why can’t we go back to the real presidential model of ruling this nation, so that the future Georgian presidents are real again? I mean Presidents, not Kings and Queens and Emperors, and certainly, not those regular dictators with the annoying desire to remain cozily ensconced on the top forever.

BY NUGZAR B. RUHADZE

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