Opponents of the government are dominated by the idea that Agreement signed on April 19 (“Future Road to Georgia”?) The Georgian Dream was expelled for fear that it would not be able to cross the 43% threshold, which would lead to early parliamentary elections. The basis for such an assumption is indeed seen by sociologists based on recent research. However, for a large part of the society, the concern is not the goal, but the result – that the “Dream” may have practically signed Georgia’s distance from the European Union and NATO.
The ruling party blames the National Movement again for everything and hopes that if they explain it well, the international partners will understand everything.
- Why did the Georgian Dream decide to cross the line for the “Charles Michel Agreement” without any agreement with international partners?
- Is it possible for international partners to understand the immersion of 6 months of labor and the setback of Georgia?
Arithmetic of studies
Sociologist Iako Kachkachishvili reveals the results of a recent survey commissioned by his organization, the Institute for Social Research and Analysis, commissioned by several opposition parties, according to which the Georgian Dream rating (according to variations in questions) is 26-30% across Tbilisi.
“It is not a high result, of course. I do not know what the support of the Georgian Dream is in the regions, but on average, it will probably be the same somewhere … Before the elections, this result would probably decrease even more due to the worsening epidemic – the number of cases is growing dangerously, the vaccination process is slow and the country is not planned to close. “I think the cancellation of this document relieved 43% of the obligation and insured themselves.” – Kachkachishvili tells us.
Other recent polls suggest that it would not have been easy for the Georgian Dream to cross the 43% threshold in the proportional part of the election; for example:
- According to a survey commissioned by Formula One and published by Edison Research in July, the Georgian Dream received 39% of the respondents’ support.
- According to a survey commissioned by Ipsos (IPSOS) in June, the Dream’s rating did not exceed 32%.
“Georgian Dream” itself speaks of almost 50% support.
In the document signed on April 19 between the government and some of the opposition parties – the reservation reflected in the “Charles Michel Agreement”, each percentage became significant; Because if the Georgian Dream could not get more than 43% in the proportional part of the elections, early parliamentary elections in the country would be held in 2022.
The “National Movement” did not sign this document from the very beginning, but it entered the parliament after the signing of this document. More than 3 months have passed since the document was signed.
- During these three months, the Georgian Dream has not once issued an ultimatum that if the main opposition party did not join the document, it would withdraw from the ranks of signatories.
- Raising the issue as an ultimatum or not withdrawing from the agreement at all was not revealed at the meetings held in Batumi on July 19, before the start of the international conference, in which the President of the European Council Charles Michel himself participated.
Nine more days passed and on July 28, the ruling party named the National Movement as one of the main reasons for its decision.
It was said to be “unfair” and neither supporters of the ruling party forgave it for further compliance with the requirements of a document not signed by much of the opposition.
According to Iago Kachkachishvili, the UNM really gave an excuse to “Dream” to use this argument. But overall, the sociologist still considers this fact to be secondary.
The main problem for him is that the ruling party, the Georgian Dream, has created a real condition to distance itself from the European Union and NATO in order to maintain its power, and that is to act in the interests of Russia.
“Until now, he managed to do it somehow, but from now on,” Georgian Dream “will not be able to sit on two benches. It is impossible for them to reject the EU-US mediated document and maintain good relations with them.
There has already been harsh criticism from the West. I think he will not back down and gradually, “Georgian Dream will have to make increasingly harsh statements. It turns out that they decided to retain power by rejecting the West.
I think this is a crossroads – “Georgian Dream” has already decided to start retreating from the Western vector ” – Iago Kachkachishvili tells us.
This agreement was not a so-called agreement between the political parties. It was a document that, in order to overcome the political crisis created after the 2020 elections, cost the EU and the US 6 months of hard work, first facilitation and then mediation.
At the initial stage, the problem could not be solved at the level of ambassadors, the process was mediated by the highest official of the European Union, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel.
Consequently, it is easy for Iago Kachkachishvili to imagine that the disruption of the process will inevitably lead to a harsh response, presumably in the form of sanctions, if the Georgian Dream does not change its decision.
- According to Radio Liberty, the National Movement is considering the possible signing of this document in order to force the Georgian Dream to return to the democratic bed.
- At this stage, only the chairman of the UNM, Nika Melia, left the parliament. Earlier, Zurab Japaridze, the chairman of the “Girchi – More Freedom” party, announced his decision to leave the parliamentary mandate. Tamar Kordzaia boycotted the parliamentary activities.
In a statement issued by the US Embassy on July 29, we read that “Washington Concerns Are Deepening” Because on the path to a democratic future for Georgia “Repeated steps back” Sees.
On July 28, a few minutes before the Georgian Dream withdrew from the April 19 agreement, Zaal Andronikashvili, a professor at Ilia State University, spoke about such an expectation during one of the conferences.
Why? What was such an indicator of expectation for him?
“The behavior of the Georgian Dream after” Gavrilov Night “(June 20, 2019) gave me reason to think like this. He did not make any concessions on which he seemed to intend to go. He always tried to use this or that agreement to gain time.
Consequently, neither of these facts is illogical. However, I still thought that it would happen after the elections and not before the elections … “Georgian Dream is constantly trying to stay out of the legal framework” – Zaal Andronikashvili tells us.
A clear example of the main law – going beyond the framework of the Constitution for Zaal Andronikashvili is, for example, the statements made by the Prime Minister on July 5 and 12 that the minority must always obey the will of the majority.
Before leaving the “Charles Michel Agreement”, “Georgian Dream” also confronted foreign partners. On July 16, the authorities accused them of practically deliberate lies and, although they did not name them, it was clear that the main addressee was the US Ambassador, Kelly Degnan.
It was Ambassador Degnan who tried many times, but was unable to prove to “Dream” by posting a yellow text on Twitter that the continuation of the Supreme Court appointment process violated the “Charles Michel Agreement.”
- Ambitious Judicial Reform – is one of the main commitments outlined in the April 19 agreement. It is within this obligation that the process of further appointment of judges of the Supreme Court should have been suspended, and this is clearly stated in the document.
- The Georgian Dream continued the process and on July 12 approved 6 new judges in the parliament.
- Then came another wave of sharp criticism – from both Brussels and Washington. The statements also explicitly stated that this process violates the terms of the April 19 agreement.
“Georgian Dream” was constantly repeating that it is fulfilling all the clauses of the agreement.
It is clear to Zaal Andronikashvili that this document remains a key measure of Georgia’s democratic aspirations for its Western partners, and its violation is seen as an indicator of alienation from European values.
A professor at Ilia State University tells us that the Georgian Dream itself would have thought of all this:
“I think it is unproductive to discuss whether this is happening according to Russia’s plan. The main thing is the result and the result is – the establishment of unconstitutional governance in Georgia and the removal of Georgia from its European / Euro-Atlantic path.
“Georgian Dream” even went for it to maintain power. Yes, Russia is interested in Georgia moving away from the European and Euro-Atlantic orbit, and what the Georgian Dream is doing is clearly aimed at that … In general, I do not think that Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream have any limits on how to maintain their power. Will stop “ – Zaal Andronikashvili told us.
He thinks that in Georgia, a dictatorship is being formed in the middle of the eyes and hands, and only the will of the voters and the strong resistance of the Western partners can stop this.
Support for those who are attracted to violence
If we look at the Facebook discussions, it seems that the Georgian Dream has won the hearts of the participants and the justifiers of the July 5-6 violent protests.
These are the people who consider the destruction of the EU flag in Georgia a proud deed.
They applaud the government – for the proper “smart training” of the US and the EU and also for their support during the events of July 5-6.
In return, they promise full support for the elections, but only if a few more conditions are met:
- Repeal the anti-discrimination law;
- Pass a law against the insult of religious sentiments;
- Impose heavy fines on journalists for their “violence and lies”;
- The “National Movement” and its allies to disappear altogether;
- Refuse to force vaccination and abandon the “Kulumbegov dictatorship.”
Iago Kachkachishvili suggests that with such steps the Georgian Dream may “absorb” the supporters of the Patriots Alliance and Levan Vasadze’s Nation. But the sociologist also suggests that the overall electorate of this category will not be more than 3%.
Iago Kachkachishvili sees the danger of civil controversy. Zaal Andronikashvili does not rule out that, if necessary, in addition to “informal governed groups”, “state forces” will be openly involved in the violence.