Calm before the Storm? Aftermath of 2016 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia


Elections turn a political party into a political power which, as a result, embarks on managing the nation’s affairs for a given period of time armed with the consent of the credulous governed. Now, if the lucky party, alias the new commanding power, is good enough to take the country to better ends, then progress is guaranteed, but if the contrary should occur, regress will be at hand, or a prolonged stalemate in the best case scenario.

What could be in store for us this time? Judging by the landslide which the ruling party has managed to garner in this electoral season, the new old power has received every possible credit from Georgia’s halved but still enthusiastic electorate. What remains to do now is wise and undelayed handling of the monstrous package of previous, current and potential problems that are conspicuously sitting on the winner’s desk to be solved and then to be stuck right into the opponent’s big mouth to gag on – at least temporarily. But the opposition is not only widening the mouth, it is also diligently sharpening the remaining teeth, ready to wax much more determined and expeditious than ever before. They certainly have enough reason to be so furious and exacerbated – the heavy defeat they have suffered in the elections is unpalatable indeed, especially due to the forced-on-them recognition of the constitutional majority grabbed by the newly established and absolutely undisputed rulers of the republic.

I have no idea what’s happening in the kitchens of either the euphoric winners or the sulking losers, but having listened to their post-election summary speeches, I am coming to believe that both sides are getting ready for a very tough battle (although their encounters on the floor will make less sense now than before because of the constitutional majority in the new parliament). I am saying this because all prognostications concerning the future composition of Georgia’s legislative body have flopped disastrously. There was only one person in the entire country who confidently predicted he’d get into parliament with no less than 100 mandates, and he did even better – 115! The ruling side sounds calm and confident in the success of their upcoming exploits and the opposition is reacting as if they had never boasted they’d come out winners. All is being taken for granted. And that’s very good! Such attitudes make our political system stronger, sturdier, and fitter.

The only misgiving I have is the much talked about parliamentary majority- those with the perfect instrument in their hands to let politics work only in favor of the people of Georgia, and which the losing side qualifies as a soviet-type one-party system, conducive to regrettable deterioration of the quality of democracy in the country. Political analysts are also divided on the issue: some of them are shrugging their shoulders, some are fuming with indignation and others are trying to calm society, feeding us theoretical corroborations of expediency of the newly acquired operating style in the house of law.

The happiest campers in the aftermath of the 2016 parliamentary elections in Georgia are the freshmen who sigh with relief and happily accept congratulations from their proud friends and relatives. On the other hand, the current blissful leisure is just a trouble-free instant in their political life. The harder times, following those halcyon days, are approaching fast – the time of test and sweat, which either elevates them to higher career levels or obliterates them from being members of Georgia’s ever-maturing political establishment.

And finally, what will change as a consequence of the now bygone elections? I am not sure there is one unequivocal answer to this simple but insightful and penetrating question. But we want to hear the answer – that’s why our valuable votes were spent on the presumable providers of that answer.

Nugzar B. Ruhadze

03 November 2016 19:41