PRIME MINISTER OR CHAIRMAN OF PARLIAMENT?
09 February, 2012
 PRIME MINISTER OR CHAIRMAN OF PARLIAMENT?

‘If on the opposition wing the distribution of forces is the same as today, at the 2012 elections billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili’s coalition may be a runner up and coalition government may be completed by several parties. Oppositional parties will be given unimportant ministries and the rest will stay with the ‘National Movement’ and when meeting Saakashvili the US President will tell him that as a democrat he is the leader of the region. If Sarkisian and Aliev are giving posts to

their relatives, they will say about Saakashvili that he gave ministries to the opposition’; one of the scenarios of unfolding events was presented this way by Kakha Kakhishvli - Director of ‘Elections and Political Technologies Study’ Center. We began conversation with the assessment of Obama-Saakashvili meeting.

Q. – After his visit to America, discussion on Saakashvili’s political future became more topical.
K.K. – Current constitution enables Saakashvili to become the Speaker of the Parliament. It’s clear that the ruling party and its present chairman Mikheil Saakashvili aren’t planning to quit. On January 30, the day of meeting of Saakashvili and Obama, ‘Greenberg study’ was published, confirming that Saakashvili is a leader without an alternative and that 65% of polled support him. This political technology is directed at as many people as possible to persuade them that Saakashvili enjoys great support.
At the meeting with Obama Saakashvili said that Georgia was moving to another stage and it would have strong parliamentary management. The President has two options: to resign and head his party during the parliamentary elections or run in 2013 for the position of a majoritarian deputy of some region, enter the Parliament and wait for the party to nominate him a Speaker of the Parliament. Saakashvili is a strong political technologist. He won’t instigate opposition to say that he took Putin’s path. The post of the Chairman of the Parliament is more comfortable for him than that of a Prime Minister.
Q. – But Ivanihvili’s team is planning to take 2/3 of seats in the new Parliament.
K.K – When an opposition force declares that it will take 2/3 of seats and it doesn’t happen so, this may cause more nihilism of voters. If somebody doesn’t find his future in ‘Georgian Dream’ he’ll look for it somewhere else.
Q. – Ivanishvili’s partners presume that all the opposition forces together can’t take more than 20% from Ivanishvili and they don’t exclude making of coalition with other opposition forces that get to the Parliament.
K.K – They can’t manage to make coalition today or agree upon the election money-box; it’s hard to imagine that parliamentary factions will start working in coalition. The parties that already are in coalition with Ivanishvili feel comfortable; he revived their rating and secured them financially but they have to overcome their partisan interests.
I don’t think in 2013 the ‘National Movement’ will concede to anybody even the post of President with so restricted rights. According to this strategy Ivanishvili’s coalition is at most, predestined for the second place. This coalition won’t make up the majority unless it broadens.
It’s quite obvious that political technologists of Georgian and Russian Presidents use the same methods. That’s why, like Saakashvili, we so often see Putin visiting hospitals, driving a car or flying an airplane.
To confirm the fact that Putin isn’t afraid of rivalry, a billionaire Prokhorov emerged. It resembles very much the appearance of Ivanishvili in Georgian politics. I hope his western political technologists aren’t planning a strategy according to which Ivanishvili will be a guaranteed runner-up and will make coalition government with Saakashvili. One fact is also to be considered - today the people who brought Saakashvili to power, are beside Ivanishvili and Ivanishvili chose them himself.

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