Salome Zurabishvili accused the Georgian Dream of breaking the word given to its international partners diplomatically, but understandably for many, and pointed out that such actions threaten to distance themselves from the West, weaken the country, reduce trust and isolate. But the president said nothing:
- What happens to the annulled document?
- Are you working on getting back to your old positions?
- What is “Dream” going to do and what can the President of Georgia do?
Responsive criticism and a lot of rejection
On August 4, the Georgian Dream actively criticized the president for his unbalanced and biased assessment. For example, Vice Speaker Gia Volski thinks that Salome Zurabishvili failed to properly assess the degree of destructiveness of the opposition.
“The ruling party has certain obligations, but it is also real that the” National Movement “has never rejected the destabilization strategy and it is not right not to see it …
Practically impartial assessment of the part, which is called the intensive attempt to develop destructive processes by specific political entities, the President’s statement significantly lacked balance …
“Leaving this agreement is one thing that has a very serious basis and precondition, and the other is when you do not join this agreement at all, on which the president, I think, should have paid more attention.”
The retaliatory attack and reactions once again confirmed that the Georgian Dream is not going to reconsider its decision to annul the Charles Michel Agreement.
However, the water had run out before.
“We are not children, we are serious people” – This is how the chairman of the party, Irakli Kobakhidze, answered the question of the journalists regarding the possible revision of the positions on July 30, and he repeated it many times since then.
The president had already held a briefing when Archil Talakvadze, the former speaker of parliament and one of the signatories of the April 19 agreement, said on Imedi TV on August 3 that nothing would change.
He said that all other points of this document have been fulfilled, including judicial reform; And Georgia’s democracy will benefit even more from holding self-government elections without a 43% reservation.
According to the “Charles Michel Agreement” signed on April 19, if the “Georgian Dream” could not win more than 43% of the local elections, early elections in the country would be called in 2022.
“We have done everything that was in the interests of Georgia and in the future we will do everything that our country needs … The only thing we have done to cancel and it has exhausted itself is to attach 43% to other [საპარლამენტო] On the elections …
Okay, let’s say we wrote this in the agreement, but after that [ოპოზიციური პარტიები] They were still in a state of controversy, increasing the degree of disinformation, increasing the degree of unrest and destabilization … They were not moving towards a reduction of the controversy, but the exact opposite of the “Michel Agreement” … We will not return 43% “ – Talakvadze said.
Most of the experts and opposition politicians attribute the 43% fear to the Georgian Dream’s decision to withdraw from the April 19 agreement quickly and without prior notice to the mediators.
“Dream” claims and Talakvadze repeated that the party will get 43%, 47-48% and 50% in the next elections. However, studies point to a different picture.
What can the president do?
The President of Georgia made it clear at a briefing on August 3 that he does not take responsibility for the content of the Charles Michel Agreement, but he is still proud of his contribution to its drafting and does not share the steps and arguments voiced by the Georgian Dream after the document was annulled.
The President does not share the main argument of the “Georgian Dream” that, as if the “Charles Michel Agreement” did not reduce the tension in the political life, but even increased the polarization.
- “Today, the fact that we have given up something that was unacceptable and that could harm the country is incomprehensible.”
- “In my experience, red lines are crossed before signing!”
- “I do not agree with the ruling party’s assessment that polarization has not been reduced, which explains the cancellation of the document.”
- “The document has fulfilled its original purpose: the political crisis is over, stability has been strengthened, a multi-party parliament has been formed and the political process has shifted from the street to the parliament. We have adopted a new election code (I hope the threshold agreement will be fulfilled).”
- “The result of this document is that certain opposition forces failed to carry out political processes in the streets, lost all resources of destabilization and suffered a kind of marginalization by not signing!”
Salome Zurabishvili voiced her assessments after meeting all day long on August 2 with the politicians who signed the “Charles Michel Agreement” – both from the government and the opposition.
And what happens after that?
We have not been able to find out in the Presidential Administration whether or not the President of Georgia intends to continue working towards the possible revival of the April 19 agreement.
The text read by Salome Zurabishvili at the briefing on August 3 did not say anything about it, and judging by the title adapted for the same text on the official website, the main way out of the current situation is quality elections for the president:
“The President of Georgia – democratic and fair elections must be held in this country and no one should be able to harm our European path inside or outside.”
At the same time, it is clear to many that Salome Zurabishvili, at least, has easy access to communication with Charles Michel. The document was completely “canceled” when they met on July 28 in the south of France. The President of the European Council also mentioned the start of consultations with the parties at that time.
On April 20, the second day after the signing of the agreement known as her, when Charles Michel suddenly arrived in Georgia again, at a joint press conference, Salome Zurabishvili promised to play the role of mediator.
“The fact that the entire opposition has gathered here to sign, it restores the president to his real role, it restores trust and respect, without which the president can not play his role … and he can probably do more if necessary (but I hope that It will no longer be necessary) to mediate it in some form … I think it is also the desire of the society to no longer be constantly yours [მიმართავს შარლ მიშელს] It is necessary to bother. “
Is this process left to be decided by the President of Georgia?
According to RFE / RL, EU Ambassador Carl Hartzel is not currently in Georgia, and the parties signing the Michel Document met with the Acting Head of the European Commission Delegation on August 3.
The possible arrival of Charles Michel’s representative from Brussels has not been confirmed yet. Brussels’s slow actions are linked to many summer vacations. At the same time, the first results of Georgian consultations are expected in the European capital.
The president’s assessments, in general, left the opposition satisfied, as most of the criticism came from the Georgian Dream, but it can be said that the opposition was not really disappointed and did not have any special hopes.
- “The stopped clock shows the correct time twice a day. “The symptom here is that Ivanishvili’s regime is so deeply entrenched in international isolation and within the country, with its own citizens, that even an irresponsible figure like Zurabishvili deems it necessary to insure himself and keep his distance.” Giga Bokeria, “European Georgia”.
- The ignorance of the “Dream” is infinite and if you think a little bit and have dignity, you can not participate in this game … The President saw these risks and, therefore, tries to bring the Georgian Dream to consciousness. However, I think that all the attempts related to the “Georgian Dream” are “reading the gospel on the wolf” – Paata Manjgaladze, “Strategy Builder”.
The opposition rules out that the president’s assessments would have concrete consequences or that he could have any influence on the Georgian Dream.
It is true that part of the opposition was dissatisfied with the “inadequately neutral” statements made by Michel himself; But they are confident that the Western partners will not throw their 6-month labor into the water, will act, and that in the future, the issue of personal sanctions will also be considered.
Danger of distance from Europe
On August 3, the President said that Georgia is at an important crossroads and one of the main challenges – “It concerns our European path.”
The President said that if Georgia breaks its promise and does not fulfill its obligations, it will not be able to earn the respect of international partners and will not be able to maintain trust in their eyes.
According to the President, moving away from Europe, being alone and isolated makes Georgia a target of evil intentions more easily. “Weakened, exhausted, you naturally become the target of those who have a constant aspiration and have to expand and subdue you” – The President did not mention Russia, but many of these words, obviously, should be related to Russia’s eternal goals.
As the leitmotif of the President’s speech was the rejection of the words and obligations given by the Georgian Dream, the main addressee of his statements was considered by the majority of the society to be the Georgian Dream.
Judging by the reactions of social networks, the supporters of the “Georgian Dream” also liked the President’s statement.
At the same time, the Alliance of Patriots continues to take steps to support Georgia’s rapprochement with Russia. These days, a letter full of requests and respect has already been sent to the President of Russia, Vladimir Putin.
The “patriots” diligently explain to the president of the occupying country that almost 70% of the population opposes NATO and pro-neutrality, and that it is time for Russia to act to save common sense in Georgia.
Giorgi Gobronidze, an international relations specialist,’s only hope in this situation is that the overall rating of the ultra-right, ultranationalist and pro-Russian forces has never exceeded 3-5%.
In fact, according to all surveys, the number of supporters of Georgia’s membership in NATO has been around 80 percent for years.
At the same time, Gobronidze sees a threat that creating an unreliable image for Georgia and moving away from the West will free up space for Russia in the future.
“Russia will take advantage of this situation … the fact is, we are giving the basis to weaken and lead us … what is the main capital of our strength, that our partners trusted us and should see a reliable support in us.
The loss of our credibility automatically leads to the weakening of foreign policy positions and will be very difficult for us because we are not a big state that can defend without the help of the international community. We will become an easy country “ – Giorgi Gobronidze tells Radio Liberty.
Given decades of experience, it is clear to Gobronidze that Russia will never make real concessions to Georgia, will give nothing of value, and in this situation the dialogue will end with the loss of sovereignty.