Opposition to Unite behind Margvelashvili?


Whether or not the opposition unite around Giorgi Margvelashvili is one of the primary questions not only for the opposition but for the government as well. Since the third President of Georgia, Miheil Saakashvili, has called on the opposition to unite, this topic has gained ever more intrigue. It is hard to say if the advice from the ex-President Saakashvili voiced on TV was mere coincidence, but it is clear that after his speech the Georgian Dream turned its back against President Margvelashvili even more, accusing him of alliance with the National Movement.

Nobody expected the ruling party to become this anxious, but, clearly, anything is possible in politics these days, especially in Georgia. For now, Margvelashvili refrains from discussing his political ambitions openly. However, his interviews and comments clearly suggest that he is more than keen to be elected for a second term. Unlike previous elections, he now knows that these will no longer depend on the authority of billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili and it will be an independent battle for him, for which he definitely needs some political support.

The political opposition is also in waiting mode, unsure if Margvelashvili will be the one to unite both the oppositional parties and society. Last year, during a discussion of the constitutional project, the parliamentary as well as non-parliamentary opposition offered a deal: “If you don’t sign the Constitution, you will be our united candidate,” said they. But Margvelashvili signed it anyway, and hence their relationship went cold, which is probably the reason that neither the mountain comes to Muhammad, nor vice versa. Exactly during this paused mode, Saakashvili called on the opposition to unite around a single presidential candidate. Surely with this announcement he meant the candidate from the National Movement in the first place: “Hold the primaries among the candidates and unite with the winner,” he advised from Poland. However, considering the fact that President Margvelashvili is always in the top three, it becomes easier to guess what Saakashvili may have been implying. To put it simply, the National Movement already owns the “license” to support Margvelashvili. Now, everything depends on Margvelashvili himself, who has vowed to openly declare his future plans this month.

This message has triggered rumors among the ruling party about an alleged alliance between the former and current Presidents of Georgia. The governmental party has yet to take action and is settling for mere rhetoric, but obviously they’ll always find time for revenge.

The upcoming presidential elections, despite the post itself having become purely symbolic, will play a big role in shaping the perspectives of the government as well as the opposition for 2020. Thus, how the current president chooses to proceed gains even more importance, especially when he now stands a high chance of being the united candidate of the opposition.

By Zaza Jgarkava 




23 February 2018 09:47