The Georgian Dream and misery of Mikhail Saakashvili

Saakashvili has failed to fulfill his dream - to head a parliamentary republic that Georgia will become next year. In the parliamentary elections held on October 1, the "Georgian Dream" of Ivanishvili has won. Saakashvili was hoping for the overall victory of the UNM by winning single-member districts, but this would be a fantasy or fraud.

The parliamentary elections are held on a mixed system. 77 mandates are chosen from party lists and the "Georgian Dream" has already won by a margin of over 20 percent. 73 mandates are chosen in the majority of districts where party affiliation should be of less importance, but in practice always follows the trend of the elections by the party lists.

The leader of the "Georgian Dream" is convinced that in the majority districts his party will gain 50 seats. "We did it, the Georgian people did it," said Ivanishvili last night, adding that he was very happy. He also congratulated his supporters. "I'm glad we won, that we returned the dignity of our country."

Of course, this is a crushing defeat for Saakashvili's party that was way ahead of the "Georgian Dream" until the prison scandal, with 40 percent support compared to 20 of the main opponent. Propaganda campaign in the West did its job. In particularly, Saakashvili was praised for the eradication of corruption, transparency, governance, and democratic institutions. Then a video of a cruel torture in Tbilisi Prison went viral and the resulting stories of corruption of nearly the entire Ministry of Corrections have greatly reduced the value of Western ratings. The citizens realized that a European showcase model was covering a deceitful regime that has been long protecting the criminals.

Also read: Shocking videos of prison tortures explode Georgia

Western analysts, however, were at a loss seeing how events in one prison may influence the election, but this is yet another confirmation of the fact that Georgia under Saakashvili is not a democracy, but, in the figurative expression of the Times, a country of "pluralistic feudalism." Social relationships are built in accordance with "patron-vassal" pattern, that is, the entire moral and material dependence of the citizens from the vertical of power. But as soon as the "feudal" ceases to be honest in the eyes of a "vassal", his power is crumbling.

Saakashvili was a vassal himself - to the United States. Barack Obama during Saakashvili's visit to the U.S. in January of 2012 made it clear that if Saakashvili tries to rig the elections, it will be a blow to the image of the U.S., so he should not be doing it. Georgia's president, who ruled for two terms, could not run again, so in 2011 he initiated an amendment to the Constitution, according to which in 2013 Georgia would become a parliamentary republic with the elected parliament and the Prime Minister as its head. Saakashvili was confident of his success, but was defeated by the "dreamer."

Who is Bidzina Ivanishvili? He is not a dreamer but rather a successful businessman. His capital, according to Forbes, is $6.4 billion, which is more than the entire state budget of Georgia. He earned most of his money in Russia, but before entering into politics he withdrew all of his assets from Russia. Thanks to the financial resources, he managed to unite the opposition, rejecting a marginal component. Ivanishvili has denied his involvement in the dissemination of compromising video, but if he was behind it, it was an extraordinary step that reversed the course of the campaign. It speaks of his power, or the power of those who are behind him, or both.

The "Georgian Dream" offers to solve the problems of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in the first place through the development of Georgia, creating a comfortable and attractive environment for living and working. The direct solution of the problems of these regions is expected to be postponed. It is also proposed not to force the establishment of the Russian-Georgian relations, temporarily postponing a solution of this issue.

If Saakashvili was depicted by the media as "a puppet of Washington," Ivanishvili is depicted as a "puppet of Moscow." The comparison, despite its emotional nature, is true, and says what is at stake - above all, the role of Georgia as a transit point in the trade in oil and gas from the Caspian region. A strategic Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, "Nabucco" and Iran-Georgia highway that connects the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea run through its territory. Control of these transport routes is the most important strategic task for the United States and Russia.

It is too early to talk about foreign policy of the new prime minister, as the changes in the country a third of whose budget comes from direct infusion from the U.S. would be hard. Undoubtedly, he will be more lenient towards Russia, ready to negotiate, as he did not give the order to kill Russian citizens in South Ossetia. Here is a quote from his statement of Georgia's "First Channel" Public TV: "Our main interest is to join NATO and the European Union as there is no democratic institution better than the EU, and better international organization than NATO in the world. But I will be able to combine good relations with Russia and the NATO path of Georgia," said the billionaire.

Lyuba Lulko


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov