Risk of Political Minority Disintegration
13 December, 2012
Risk of Political Minority Disintegration
“People are looking forward to April, when the Presidential power to dissolve the Parliament expires”

Immediately after the Parliamentary elections many people anticipated disintegration of former ruling party - National Movement. It did not happen. Yet, the prospect is on the table again as some experts claim it will certainly happen once the windows for the Parliament dissolution closes without the Georgian President resorting to this extreme measure. On its part, the Authorities fear the zero competition and are set
to prevent absolute concentration of power in their hands.
Given the current reality, the only competitor to the current Authorities is the previous ruling party. It is more so remarkable if we consider that first time in history the country has so called strategic opposition (i.e. the political force that once rules the country and now acts as a main real contender to return to power). This circumstance has an extraordinary importance for the democratic development.
New Government has already started to make statements that Nationalist Movement is going to lose integrity. Bidzina Ivanishvili was first to point to the threat two days ago, when he indicated that now they face an extra task of forming a new opposition. Zakaria Kustnashvili, one of the leaders of the Parliamentary Majority who anticipates that no less than 20 MPs would quit the Minority, echoes his statements.
“After only 1.5 months of the Parliamentary work, as many as seven MPs abandoned United Nationalist Movement officially. If so and if this trend holds on, I think we should witness defection of another 20 MP from the Minority in the next six months,” – argues Zakaria Kutsnashvili.
Moreover, behind-the-scenes MPs actively discuss the possibility of further shrinking of Minority membership. In this regard, instability may come from majoritarian MPs who are not on the National Movement party members. Perhaps, the nearest future may witness emergence of yet another faction of independent MPs from the above noted unstable wing of the Minority.
As readers are very well aware, the Parliamentary Majority runs short of being the constitutional majority, even if Minority has lost the seven MPs. In simple terms, Majority undercounts ten MPs more to reach the tipping point. It needs to be noted also that the constitutional amendment on the location of the country’s main legislative body that has just been initiated received support from among Nationalist Movement as well, namely from Gardabani Majoritarian MP Giorgi Peikrishvili.
Members of Parliamentary Majority say that “the project of the constitutional amendment will not run a risk of failure due to the unexpectedly strong Minority support on the matter.” But in this case processes taking placed inside these two forces are much more important.
On the one hand, Ivanishvili said that the opposition cannot compete with his party and that this problem has to be fixed. It means that the coalition will disintegrate. In this scenario, the most important is who and when moves from the opposition to the position. On the other hand, super-concentration of the power would generate more questions than answers. So, one should not rule out that Ivanishvili would personally get down to solving the problem by carving out a new opposition specter.
“There is no danger of the party going into extinction,” – this is a nearly unanimous feedback from Minority.
Expert Khatuna Lagazidze believes that by the look of it Nationalists are heading for disintegration because it is highly doubtful that they would survive after all of their wrong doings in their former capacity of the country rulers. “It’s another question that the faces of Minority are not attractive for others too. So where could they go? Of course, I do not mean everyone but most of them.”
She added that “If they are attractive it is because Majority has no constitutional leverage in the Parliament and every defection from Minority therefore would amount to a major event.”
On question of when such a process may kick off in the Parliament, Khatuna Lagazidze answers that “these people are looking forward to April when Presidential power to dissolve the Parliament expires. When this threat passes away, Nationalist Movement would lose the last reason for existence. Certainly, such a critical event may occur earlier even. In any case, apparently this is the single major point that draws much hope of Nationals today.”
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