Who is next HQ Chief?
31 October, 2013
Who is next HQ Chief?
In anticipation of first results from cohabitation failure

One more difference between the current and previous presidential elections is the fact that in the current one, commanders or officers did not force their soldiers or policemen to cast votes for the state candidate. This fact was not quite expected by the soldiers who in the past used to receive a month-long intensive instruction to put a circle on the names of Shevardnadze and Saakashvili candidacies.
Another circumstance is worth nothing.
Only 30% of the armed forces cast their votes in special ballot stations opened in the bases, while the majority went to regular ballot stations together with their families. In Afghanistan, two ballot stations opened their doors in Eredvi and Lezernek military bases. While Giorgi Margvelashvili won with 415 votes to Davit Bakradze (278 votes) on the Lezernek, the Eredvi ballot station delivered a victory to Bakradze with 318 voting for him and only 285 voting for his rival. For a total, Margvelashvili turned out as a winner collecting 700 ballots against 596.
This outcome goes to show enhanced democracy of the presidential election at ballot stations operating inside the military premises. Indeed, one would be justified to wonder about the motivation of the soldiers who supported Bakradze and hence his National Movement. Probably, they grew forgetful of horrifying times of the Bacho Akhalaia’s ministerial when their dignity used to be ironed daily.
The Constitution stipulates that the Georgia’s new President Giorgi Margvelashvili heads the country’s armed forces and holds the right to name a new candidacy for the chief of HQ.
The constitution contains a special reservation that after the 2013 presidential election United HQ of the Georgian armed forces would be named back to General HQ. Accordingly, the newly renamed entity is going to get a new chief because the current chief of United HQ – Senior Colonel Irakli Dzneladze – was essentially appointed to his position on the basis of a consensus aka cohabitation between the former president Saakashvili and PM Ivanishvili.
Among the possible candidacies for the Chief of General HQ post are seen the current deputies to the Chief of United HQ – Brigade General Vakhtang Kapanadze and Colonel Vladimer Chachibaia. It is worth noting that both had once held this top position at some point in the past: Kapanadze in 2004-2005 and Chachibaia in 2008-2009. It is interesting also to recall that both had to resign following their quarrel with Defense Ministers Irakli Okruashvili and Bacho Akhalaia respectively. Next few days will let the name of the new HQ Chief. It remains to be seen whether the choice of the new President Giorgi Margvelashvili and the outgoing MP Bidzina Ivanishvili would coincide with the personal preference of Defence Minister irakli Alasania.

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