The Focus of Our Interest


While Georgian politics is busy discussing the complications within Georgian Dream and whether the governmental party will break down or not, an array of much more important events is developing before our eyes. For instance, the unexpected visit of the Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan to Bolnisi, just a few days after being appointed to the post, and his meeting there with his Georgian counterpart Mamuka Bakhtadze. What the two PMs discussed in the office of the Head of Bolnisi Council is unknown to this day, as are the details of Pashinyan’s meeting with President Ilham Aliyev in Davos. Yet all this was surely topped by the statement of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Karasin, about the movement of Armenian cargo through the occupied territories of Tskhinvali and Sokhumi. Interesting is also the document recently signed with American private companies which will work on the construction of the port and terminals in Poti. It is becoming obvious that some radical changes are underway in our neighborhood. Yet the Georgian public is being kept “entertained” by the controversies going on in the governmental party.

It is safe to say that the developments surrounding the former Chair of the Parliament’s Legal Committee are the main “news” of local politics, as, for the last two months, our country has been busy with the political future of Eka Beselia. The MP refuses to submit her first placement in news to diplomats Karasin or PM Pashinyan, nor to President Aliyev. People know much more about Beselia’s private and political life than how, and using which legislation, Armenian cargo can get through Tskhinvali or Sokhumi, or what was theme of the prolonged meeting between Pashinyan and Aliyev. As the development of events shows, Georgians are more interested in the details of Beselia leaving the governmental party than how the power balance will change in the Caucasus if Armenia decides to return part of occupied Karabakh to Azerbaijan.

However, the events concerning Ms. Beselia are developing ala Shakespearean dramaturgy, and the intrigues trigger more interest in Georgians than the forecasted geopolitical “earthquakes” in the neighborhood. The reaction of the electorate is predictable. Beselia has said several times that she was responsible for the establishment of Georgian Dream alongside Bidzina Ivanishvili, and that she now has to leave it in the hands of others, implying that a mother needs to leave her child, like Medea did for her passions. But unlike Medea, Beselia “needed” to make this move because of the judges, which in reality is just an excuse rather than the true reason. Remember the parliamentary elections of 2016? Those who gathered around the founder of the Georgian Dream were unconnected: by neither ideology nor value system, nor even by a plan. The only connection between them was Bidzina Ivanishvili and his resources.

It is completely unsurprising that Beselia was unable to comply with the taste of the “newcomers”, which as a result gave way to conflict. The main intrigue of the controversy between the former and current “guards” is that Bidzina Ivanishvili returned, and thus the political odyssey of Beselia ended. The billionaire backed the “newcomers”, while for Beselia the issue of the judges served as a life-ring to bring her safely back to shore. The Rubicon has been crossed and now it is on Ms. Beselia as to how she will wrap up the judge scandal to save her career, because moderation is important and if you can’t keep the balance, everything might turn against you.

With the new constitution enforced, it is too late to think about institutional changes, ones that would disseminate this closed, clan grouping of judges and make them more reliant on governmental organs elected through votes. Therefore, even if Ms. Beselia is driven by goodwill and the interests of our state, she won’t be able to surprise Europe and will soon need to think about her “cohabitation” with Chinchaladze, Murusidze, and others. They won’t do anything particularly bad to her, quite the opposite; in fact, they will serve her quite well.

By Zaza Jgarkava

07 February 2019 17:10