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Politics as a national hobby2010-04-09 00:09
The time for local elections is drawing near with the pre-election campaign booming throughout Georgia. There is an impression that everyone is head over heels in politics now in this sunny country well-known for its hospitality. Following Inga Grigolia, a TV hostess, that plans to run in the elections and become head of Sakrebulo (in charge of the city council) there is Kakha Kaladze, a soccer player, willing to make his way in politics. Total politicization will do no good to the society. Given that the opposition is in disorder, there will be 36 parties running in Georgia's local elections with the dominant party stating already that the opposition has no chances to win.
Politicization of the society surged dramatically dragging journalists, sportsmen and artistic intelligentsia into politics. At the time of last year's protests culture figures actively took part in demonstrations shocking people with their creativity: staging manifestations, setting up improvised cell-cages. This approach was of no effect though.
Current elections were at stake then. Since over long months (or long years - it would be more correct) the opposition has failed to get united and come to terms with each other, the experts keep forecasting a new defeat for opponents of the authorities. Alliance for Georgia leader Irakli Alasania stands with 11% in the IRI rating. A few months ago he had 15% as a level of support. Current mayor Gigi Ugulava backed by the ruling party is rated with 46%.
The ruling party is explicitly confident of their victory. Georgian Interior Minister Vano Merabishvili thinks that the opposition has no chances to win local elections. This is what he told Kommersant newspaper (Russia). According to him the ruling party's rating is much higher, which makes it impossible for the opposition to win. "There are 64% supporting us in Tbilisi. There are quite a few countries in the world whose capitals would have support like this. This is also because the opposition has shown its true colors - not only that we are so good", - Merabishvili stated.