Expert opinion
‘COLD SHOWER FOR GEORGIAN AUTHORITIES’
08 December, 2011

Interview with Iago Kachkachishvili, sociologist

‘Neither Erosi, nor Mamuka; TV Company ‘Maestro’ is free’ –Mamuka Glonti’s, one of the founders of the Company, declared through social network. We  are discussing last week’s important issues that took place in Georgia, with sociologist Iago Kachkachishvili:

 

Q. – Last week the events unfolding around ‘Maestro TV’ caused much ado. Head of the managing company Erosi Kitsmarishvili and one of the founders of the TV Company Mamuka Glonti are accusing each other. The personality of Bidzina

Ivanishvili, a newly-gone-to-politics Georgian billionaire figures in this turmoil as well. In your opinion, actually, what is going on in ‘Maestro’?

A. – I think that not political but financial motive prevails in this matter. Kitsmarishvili invested some money in management of ‘Maestro’ and most likely, the reimbursement is connected with some problem. But something else is more important in this case: in the media space, which is monopolized by the authorities, ‘Maestro’ is one of the rare channels through which oppositional-minded part of people hear adequate information that corresponds to their point of view. Quite often this channel airs information not available in other TV programs.

Many people compared the bustle in ‘Maestro’ with the scenario of raided TV Company ‘Imedi’. I think it’s impossible to repeat the same today because by raiding ‘Imedi TV’ the authorities made the mistake, which they cannot amend till now.  Besides, the attitude of international organizations as well as our country has changed. In 2007 Saakashvili was still viewed as the main factor of reform implementation and democratic development in Georgia and they easily accepted his authoritarian moves (by the way, international community had the same attitude to Shevardnadze’s rule to a certain limit).

Q. – It’s strange but since publication in The Economist of an article titled ‘Challenge to Misha’ that contains President Saakashvili’s quotation – ‘Ivanishvili is a good factor for us, we won’t lose our shape’ – the previously aggressive majority mitigated their tone. What does this tendency point to?

A. – The authorities understood that the unjustified arguments against Ivanishvili return like a boomerang inflicting pain to them. I think the cold shower under which Ivanishvili put the authorities will be useful for Georgia’s democratic development.

Based on carried out sociological studies and empiric data we can survey the real tendencies. The current picture of distribution of political forces reveals that two partisan groups dominate the political foreground: the ‘National Movement’ and Bidzina Ivanishvili’s power.

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