POLICY OF ‘PICKING UP THE MIDDLE ROWS’ IS FULFILLED SUCCESSIVELY
16 February, 2012

Together with approaching elections the political life in Georgia is becoming more interesting. Control Chamber has already displayed desire to check NGOs. Newly-come-to-politics billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili has become more active. With expert Iago Kachkachishvili we discuss the processes undergoing in Georgia.

 

Q. – Roman Marsagishvili has left the faction of Gia Tortladze (leader of political association supporting majorities). Is it likely that together with approaching elections other members may express desire to leave majorities?

I.K. – It’s obvious that the ruling party has a strong alternative in the person of Bidzina Ivanishvili. I’m sure in the ‘National Movement’ there are many members who will be ready to quit the party. It’s difficult to say what can be the perspective of marginalization of ‘National Movement’ that may cause dissolution of this political integration. It will be clarified during the struggle between these two main political rivals that will intensify in coming months.

Q. – How credible is it that under the conditions of escalation of events Ivanishvili will have to resort to radical actions if they are demanded by the masses?

I.K. – There is an impression that Ivanishvili is deliberately mitigating the process of political boiling; he doesn’t desire to create an effect resembling that of setting cardboard on fire. His more or less mild critical declarations regarding the authorities and particularly Saakashvili have been spread. This may make the radical and aggressive part of opposition-minded voters angry. Although, I think this tactics is based upon two sources: 1. Rigid and aggressive attitude towards authorities may instigate the process of taking the process into the course of revolutionary mode that may have the effect of firing blank ammunition. Revolutionary mode will be successful only under total bankruptcy of the existing regime (as was the case of the last period of Shevardnadze’s rule when the rating of ‘Citizens’ Union was about 7%; the same can be said about the revolted Arab countries). Today about 35-40% rating of ‘National Movement’ doesn’t confirm such bankruptcy.  2. By and by it is becoming obvious that the West is mildly ‘exerting pressure’ on Saakashvili willing to create his image as that of democratic ruler who is ready to hand over his authority.

Q. – After the ‘National Forum’ Ivanishvili declared about cooperation with Social-Democrats and Greens’ Movement. Is Ivanishvili’s famous conception about ‘picking up the middle rows’ becoming a reality?

I.K. – The policy of ‘picking up the middle rows’ is being carried out consistently; it’s nothing else than pretence to completely occupy the opposition niche that also implies the ambition of coming to power.

In case of coming to power the distinction that is still noticeable between different political forces that make up Ivanishvili’s coalition will vanish and one solid team will be formed.

Q. – Representatives of Public Sector held an action in front of the Controls Chamber. The action was precede by declaration of Natia Mogeladze, head of political parties’ monitoring service of Controls Chamber, in which she demanded financial accounting of two NGOs – ‘Republican Institute’ and ‘New Generation – New Initiative’ in three days time. How effective will be the attempt of influencing the society?

Q. – Any rough and illegitimate action of authorities can bring short-term situational effect. Such actions go back to the ruling party like a boomerang. At present many people guess in authorities that for instance, depriving Ivanishvili of citizenship made him even stronger and such surgical interference was not successful (the same can be said about the hijacked bank car).

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