Bidhzina Ivanishvili at the Congress of his Georgian Dream Party in Tbilisi on 16 February 2013.
Only days after Georgian politics plunged into pessimism with ugly scenes of intolerance in front of the National Library as President, Government and Parliament played a cat and mouse game which they insist on calling cohabitation, it was time for the roller coaster to turn on the up side. Reconciliation was in the air as the two sides pulled back from brinkmanship politics and focused instead on necessary compromise. The sight of two MPs, one from the government coalition and one from the opposition having a fist fight on live prime tv was not reassuring, but Georgians have got used to theatrics and are no longer much impressed by it.
Of more substance was the news that the Government and the opposition were edging closer to agreeing a constitutional settlement that would address the immediate concerns of the two sides. More…
The Secretary General of NATO , Anders Fogh Rasmussen, last week nearly became the first victim of Georgia’s new system of political cohabitation when he got caught into the controversy surrounding the arrest and charging of senior military and security officials from the previous government on accusations of abuse of power.
Rasmussen’s facebook page was bombarded with Georgians commenting on various statements that the Secretary General made throughout the week, as he met with President Mikheil Saakashvili in Prague and later in Brussels with the new Prime Minister Bidhzina Ivanishvili. The problem was that many of the comments were in Georgian. At a press conference with Ivanishvili, Rasmussen reminded all Georgians that the official languages of the NATO alliance were English and French and asked them not to post in Georgian. More…
No soft touch. Bidhzina Ivanishvili is a shrewd self-made man.
Most new governments enjoy a brief honeymoon period at the start of their administration: a time when they can bask in the glory of their victory and a period of grace that the public that elected them allows them before they start demanding that they deliver on their electoral promises. It has now become clear that the government of Bidhzina Ivanishvili in Georgia, which was confirmed by parliament on 25 October, is not going to have such a luxury, as it starts to come to terms with a wide range of problems that they inherited from the previous government.
At the same time as it walks the delicate tightrope of political co-habitation, the new Georgian government is facing challenges in a number of fields, ranging from a tense situation in the prisons , to strike action in some key industries, to having to deal with a financial gap in the budget. The government had not even been properly approved by parliament when a number of problems started emerging, none so far resulting from anything of its own doing. The victory of the Georgian Dream coalition in the 1 October elections raised expectations amongst vast sections of the Georgian population. More…
The first meeting of the new Georgian Government held in Kutaisi on 25 October 2012.
It has been a month since the 1 October Georgian elections which resulted in a landslide victory for the Georgian Dream coalition of Bidhzina Ivanishvili. In terms of Georgian politics, and indeed region wide, this has been a political earthquake.
Not only has an incumbent government in the region been defeated through the ballot box for the first time, and not only has the transfer of power been done in a by and large proper fashion; It is also an earthquake because very few saw it coming.
Many diplomats in Tbilisi are with egg on their face. Their political reporting to their respective capitals over the last year failed to prepare their governments for the change of power. This flaw is particularly acute amongst Embassies of the European Union member states and institutions. The somewhat clumsy way in which the EU acted in the period immediately before and after the election raises some questions. Lessons need to be learned because if people think that this has not been noticed they are wrong. More…
Civil.ge published a map showing the regional colour divide at Georgia’s recent elections
No doubt political analysts in Georgia and beyond will for some time be analyzing the results of the Georgian parliamentary elections to ask what exactly happened that saw such a dramatic swing in favour of the opposition, and why the party of President Saakashvili was so heavily punished by the Georgian voters.
There are however other issues that are going to require further study. Two maps published originally by the leading Georgian news portal civil.ge – the first port of call for many who want to keep in touch with Georgian affairs – show the distribution of seats and votes in the election. They tell an important story. More…
The Georgian Dream Coalition (GD) led by Bidhzina Ivanishvili has won the Parliamentary elections in Georgia, according to four exit polls defeating the United National Movement (UNM) of President Mikheil Saakashvili. All four exit polls are now out. Rustavi2 has GD at 51%; UNM at 41%. GPB has GD at 35%; UNM at 30%. Maestro has GD at 63%, UNM at 27%. And NGO League of Voters has GD at 70%; UNM at 25%. Official results are expected in a few hours time. There is a big discrepancy between the four polls but all confirm an Ivanishvili victory.
Polling was brisk throughout the day and was largely peaceful. There were many small minor infringements recorded, and a few more serious ones connected mainly with the voting process.
On 30th August, Bidhzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition sent a letter to international leaders regarding the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia. The following is the full text of the letter
By this letter, I would like to appeal to the international democratic community.
The fate of Georgia will be decided by the outcome of the upcoming October 1 election , and to a great degree, how the election will proceed will be determined by the leaders of international democracies around the world: Will Georgia finally start on a path towards democratic development or will the country continue its fight against authoritarianism and post-communism. More…