What’s So Good about Being President of Georgia, Anyway?


The Presidency of Georgia has lost power, yet it seems to have maintained its charm. Why are so many seekers of the job bending over backwards to become the next occupant of this weakened-to-the-utmost political position? There must be some magic to it. Or perhaps it’s the high monetary reward, chauffeur-driven cars, luxurious offices, the pride-boosting state-of-the-republic-address once a year, numerous staff, free globetrotting, board and lodging on the house, profuse deference, copious fringes, and nothing much to sweat about – anybody’s wildest dream!

The fight for this treasured opening in the system is overheating, but none of the candidates want to get out of the kitchen, choosing to risk a roasting for the chance to have a legally guaranteed say, however flimsy, in the social-moralistic life of the country.

There is one critically attractive streak to this unlikely governmental post, though: the chance for the opposition to get its foot back into the business of the nation. There can’t be a more auspicious occasion for them to commence this revanchist takeover. It tends to start very simply: in the beginning, the opposition acquires the presidential incumbency, then they create the impression of dutiful service, later they will verbally boost the President’s responsibilities, and finally they will try to elevate the presidential obligations into a seemingly viable rank to release from prison the high-caliber culprits; to return the Georgian citizenship to the ex-president, exonerating him from pending charges and possible apprehension, and to attach to him the lovable image of a comeback kid. As soon as all those premeditated movements are in place, there starts the thrice-calculated process of imposition of their plans and ideas on the public, so sneakily that the electorate might decide to deviate from the center towards the oppositional pseudo oases. This is how the change of power usually takes roots and consequentially comes to fruition.

Now, we know why the Georgian politicians, opposed to the current government are so eager to see themselves adorned with the presidential regalia: sweet to the taste, easy to carry and handy to effect a change. Conversely, the current government is not very excited about dragging its own presidential candidate to the finale. They have not even come up with their own candidate: they think they don’t really need the position to promote their goals and are sure that they are creating a democratically balanced and evenhanded political arena. Some experts think that the ruling party’s refusal to make a run for the presidential post was a misjudged move which might bring forth a negative domino effect for current authorities who thought that they would be able to maintain power without having their own feather in the presidential cap. It is also notable that the state budget has allocated almost forty million to the presidential elections – a fiscal step that may boost the image of the future head of state of Georgia. Again, the opposition needs it in the first place for better organizing the potential comeback. Notwithstanding the lost potential, the presidency of Georgia is still functional in terms of representing the country in the international arena, and that’s exactly the place the opposition to the current government will use it, if elected, to the best of their advantage, because the international arena will always provide for the opportunity to denounce the functioning government of Georgia and to impair its image in the eyes of its friends and partners.

The opposition has more than one reason to fight for the post selflessly and without any reservation. As a matter of fact, this could even be their last chance to cling to power in hopes of acquiring a stronger political position if the presidency is theirs. Well, blessed are the believers, as the Book of Books has been teaching us from time immemorial; even a sharper-sounding today.

By Nugzar B. Ruhadze

Photo: View from the dome of the Presidential Palace, Tbilisi. Source: wikipedia.org

11 October 2018 17:04