Expert opinion
Opposition 8 in the offsite of electoral changes
12 May, 2011

Government prefers to bear with Western reproaches
Georgian opposition parties are aggressively competing with each other in setting various dates for their planned demonstrations, creating impression that everything else is just fine. The road to political establishment is likely to remain long unless the government in Georgia becomes the real government; the opposition starts acting as a real opposition and the citizens turn into real citizens. Meanwhile, today’s turmoil in the country and beyond it is the subject of our

discussion with Kakha  Katsitadze.

Q: The Georgian Party is set to launch massive protest rallies throughout Georgia. Its decision drew comments from the Popular Council. In the opinion of the world chess champion Nona Gaprindashvili, this decision raises serious suspicion. Does not it look silly when political parties compete against each other about who will hold a demonstration first?
A: There is one interesting moment there. This competition is a demonstration of a cliche by certain politicians who wrongly believe that the public expects immediate mass actions and hence it will reward those who start such actions ahead of the others. It seems their behavior is the direct reflection of this primitive way of reasoning. In reality, the rating of a political movement pivots on much more serious and important criteria, let alone the questionability of achieving the objectives via this primitive way.
Q: Consultations between the Authorities and the opposition on changes in the election legislation and improvement of the election environment ended not only as a failure to achieve anything but in the disintegration of the Opposition-8 itself. Is there still any actual path leading to the brush-up of election environment?
A: I doubt that the opposition parties who were participating in the negotiations did ever realize that all the way the Authorities preferred to bear with Western reproaches rather than improve the election environment in real. It looked odd for the Authorities to jeopardize their control over the processes when they could avoid doing it without any risk of being brought to justice because the opposition parties participating in the negotiations were plainly powerless to exert even a slight influence on the Authorities. And they were unable to do it either. There is just this illusion that the Authorities will express their goodwill and accept Western recommendations directed towards the improvement of election environment.
After the breakup of the Opposition-8, even these individual meetings started to look a bit funny. While earlier wholesale- or group bargaining used to be underway, things hopped onto a closed retail trade.
Q: During the parade dedicated to the day of Police, President Saakashvili announced that crime rates in Georgia are much lower than in Russia and generally the entire former Soviet Union. They are even lower than in Germany, France and England, and these are bare facts. Do you assess the Police reform in Georgia in a similarly positive way? How do these “lower crime rates” stability compare with democracy?
A: Fundamentals of political sciences suppose that reforms in a single sphere won’t bring global stability. Indeed, certain gratefulness should be expressed to the patrol police but the premise that its creation solved major problems that had been facing Georgia, is a weak attempt of a PR stunt. It’s an absurd.