New President and little power
31 October, 2013
New President and little power
Georgia chose its fourth president since its independence. The 27 October voting showed the final result in a single round of elections instead of highly anticipated second round, which would have been unpredictable because of the statements by PM and the candidate of Georgian Dream himself that the latter would not take part in a second round.
The election was characterized by low activity of constituency as only 46% has turned up at ballot stations. It means that a larger
number of Georgia’s population didn’t have clear views who to vote for. Anyway, the statements of Georgian Dreamers about the second round impelled the supporters of the coalition to get mobilized and champion their candidate through the first round. Why 60% of the electorate hesitated remains unanswered. Anyway, Georgia has a new president with less power and challenging psychological atmosphere: Georgian nation is used to see strong president with greater power and this attitude will somehow influence the situation. How Georgians will assess actions of the new President? Georgian Journal talked to the political expert Nika Chitadze. We intended to offer other comments too by another political experts but tensed political situation and post-election period thwarted our intent.
Georgian Journal: How do you estimate the results of presidential elections, taking into account low activity of electorate and the fact that the second round was highly expected?
Nika Chitadze: First of all, I have to say that the statement of PM that Margvelashvili would not take part in the possible second round of elections influenced electorate and made them to get their forces mobilize. It is a fact that rating of Georgian Dream as well as National Movement is less than it was one year ago during the parliamentary elections. Georgian Dream received less than 300 thousand voices this time. It has its reason: Georgian Dream couldn’t realize all its promises. National Movement got 800 thousand voices during parliamentary elections and 350-400 thousand on presidential elections. There is propaganda of Georgian Dream, which says that it was the result of the fact that during 9 years of its rule National Movement made many mistakes. It is a fact that activity of electorate was 40% because a large part of the population became politically inert.
Q. What kind of political changes do you expect after new president takes office?
A. The changes are determined by constitutional amendments. The president will not have great power and we will see more powerful Prime Minister. Georgian president will not be as weak as it is in Germany or Italy but we will have the semi-parliamentarian republic. The fact that Georgian Dream’s candidate won the presidential elections, we can also ascribe to the fact that electorate may have blamed cohabitation for many unfulfilled promises. Anyway, being the minority of Georgian parliament, National Movement will try to block some bills. At the same time, the main opposition party will be National Movement. We hope that pressure on National Movement will not take place because it will have an negative impact on the international image of the country.
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