Political “ugliness” or real offer – who needs Gakharia mandates?

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In some Sakrebulos, the votes of Gakharia party can play a decisive role in electing this or that official or approving the city budget.

The ex-prime minister says he will not form a coalition with either the Georgian Dream or the United National Movement, but vows to “unconditionally” support any decision the two parties agree on.

The initiator has already accepted the refusal of both parties to the “open tripartite” format of negotiations. The party is now expecting a more convincing rejection.

  • How will the party “For Georgia” behave if the ruling and main opposition parties refuse to the end?
  • What drives the ex-premier and how realistic is his initiative?
  • Is Gakharia’s “golden mandates” really crucial?

What should he be happy about?

Giorgi Gakharia, the leader of the For Georgia party, said on October 7 that, as a result of the election, his party had the opportunity “in many places” across Georgia to have a “decisive vote” in the composition of Sakrebulos as well as in the election of chairmen.

The ex-premier views this fact as a lever against one-party rule and also tries to adjust the role of mediator. According to Gakharia’s plan, the ruling party and the main opposition party should distribute the Sakrebulo positions in a balanced way.

The prospect of negotiations with the Georgian Dream is called “absurd” and “utopia” in the “National Movement”, especially against the background of the party leader, Mikheil Saakashvili, who is still in prison.

UNM officials believe that instead of thinking about mediation, Gakharia should make a simple choice – either in favor of the opposition or in favor of the Dream, and that will determine whether it is a “Bidzina Ivanishvili project.”

“Georgian Dream” states that cooperation with the “traitor party” is excluded and they will not need help in the Sakrebulos at all.

At a briefing on October 4, Irakli Kobakhidze, the party’s chairman, said that the “Dream” would form a strong majority in all municipalities, including those where the opposite picture is currently being painted.

How? At what cost?

“Dream” hopes that the party “For Georgia” will simply disintegrate and will support the members of the City Council on an individual basis.

“We will work with specific Sakrebulo members” – Kobakhidze said.

Earlier and repeatedly, Giorgi Gakharia made a prediction about the collapse of the “Georgian Dream”.

According to the figures calculated by the Georgian Dream, 2068 mandates were distributed throughout Georgia as follows:

  • 66% – “Georgian Dream”;
  • 25% – “National Movement”;
  • 9% – all other parties.

Is the offer realistic?

Constitutionalist Vakhtang Dzabiradze calls the initiative announced by Giorgi Gakharia a political “ugliness”. He has no idea that such a “fictional plan” will work successfully, and even more so in the Georgian reality.

“It does not come out in politics, you can not play multiparty … Gakharia now feels pressure from both sides: one – the side says, if you are a real opposition, you should stand with the opposition; The other side says – if he was born, then you are a Nazi … Well, Gakharia is also trying to find a way out, but this is not a real solution. It’s like political ugliness. “ – Dzabiradze tells us.

It is clear to the expert that in the councils, where this or that party manages to form a majority independently, all kinds of negotiations will be superfluous; And where the mandate of any party is crucial in this regard, that party should use it to solve the specific problems of its supporters.

In order to avoid a political stalemate, the parties will still have to reach an agreement in some Sakrebulos, says Davit Zurabishvili, a former politician and former Sakrebulo member.

“What other way is that ?! If no party can form a majority, whether they like it or not, Gakharia will have to talk to the party and others … everything needs votes – the distribution of Sakrebulo positions and the approval of the budget … If you can not appoint people to positions, how will Sakrebulos work ?! Therefore, this approach is understandable from Gakharia’s party as well … it is a new party and they should show themselves. ” – Zurabishvili tells us.

According to the regulations, more than half of the list members of the Tbilisi Sakrebulo (50 deputies) need to vote, for example:

  • Election and dismissal of the Chairman of the City Council;
  • Election and dismissal of the First Deputy Chairman and Deputies of the City Council;
  • Election and dismissal of the chairman of this or that commission;
  • Approve the draft budget.

The authority of the City Council may be terminated prematurely if, for example, “Within 3 months from the beginning of the new budget year, it will not approve the budget of the municipality compiled in accordance with the rules established by the legislation of Georgia.”

According to the CEC, it will not be difficult for the Georgian Dream to form a majority in 2 of the 5 self-governing cities – Tbilisi and Poti. The picture is different in Rustavi, Batumi and Kutaisi.

Where do you need Gakharia party mandates?

The final data of the CEC has not been published yet and the second rounds in the fight for more than 40 mandates are ahead. But as of now, Gakharia’s party mandates will be crucial in 5 of the 3 self-governing cities (excluding Tbilisi and Poti):

  • Kutaisi: Georgian Dream – 17; ENM – 15; For Georgia – 2; Third force – 1;
  • Batumi: Georgian Dream – 16; ENM – 15; For Georgia – 3; “Try” – 1;
  • Rustavi: Georgian Dream – 16; ENM – 15; For Georgia – 3; Second round – 1;

Also, for example in several municipalities:

  • Senaki: “Georgian Dream” – 14, “National Movement” – 13, Giorgi Gakharia’s party – “For Georgia” – 4, second round – 2.
  • Tsalenjikha: “Georgian Dream” – 9, “National Movement” – 8, Giorgi Gakharia’s party – “For Georgia” – 4, “Lelo” – 1, second round – 5.
  • Zugdidi: “Georgian Dream” will have 19 seats, “National Movement” – 22, Giorgi Gakharia’s party – for Georgia – 3, the second round – 1.

Zugdidi Sakrebulo was added to this list on October 8, as the UNM lost its chance to form a guaranteed majority in Zugdidi Municipality Sakrebulo. This happened after the recount of ballot papers in two polling stations declared the majoritarian candidate of the Georgian Dream to be the winner.

UNM strongly protests against this fact. Even in “Dream” they say that justice is celebrated.

What will happen if UN and Georgian Dream refuse to negotiate again? How will Gakharia’s party work?

As RFE / RL was told by RFE / RL on October 8, the party will announce a concrete action plan “after an official response” from the parties.

“We will act in the interests of the state, on the principle of balance of power, not to be in the hands of one party [ძალაუფლების] Concentration “ – say in the party.

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