Experts blaming the opposition01.06.2010 | 00:20
When asked how the irresponsible unlucky President Mikhail Saakashvili together with his party in power managed to win the first elections held after the South-Ossetian events, the experts only answer that the opposition lacked power because of the absence of solidarity. The people preferred the trust politicians, although they are not very successful. At the same time, the count of votes and the consideration of complaints caused by violation still go on. It is not yet time for United National Movement to celebrate the victory.
It is only in one region of Georgia, a region of Tbilisi, that the opposition managed to snatch the victory from the candidate named by the movement in power. David Saganelidze named by The New Rights party, which is part of the oppositional Alliance for Georgia, is the leader in the second district of Vakiyskiy region of the capital with his preliminary 40 percent of votes.
In the rest of the cases, the nationals have definitely outrun their competitors in the local elections. According to the latest data provided by CEC, current Mayor Gigi Ugulava has won 53,3 percent of votes, while Irakliy Alasania named by Alliance for Georgia has won 20 percent.
United National Movement's success is more obvious in the Georgian provinces - 61,2 percent. The Christian Democrats are so far outrunning the Alliance by half a percent, although the count of votes goes on.
The president of Georgia characterized the elections as the democratic ones. The EU observers underlined certain progress compared to the 2008 campaign. "What me and my colleagues saw at different voting stations confirms the fact that the elections were organized in a proper way. One should stress the skill and selflessness of the people engaged in the process. There were just trifle errors", - the European Union's Representative Per Eklund told the journalists.
It was only the OSCE Mission that found it necessary to point at the systematic violations: illegal casts of ballot papers and manipulations during the count of votes.
However, there is an overall picture of fair elections. Does this general impression correspond to the actual will expression of the citizens?
Political expert Georgiry Khutsishvili believes the elections can be characterized as fair ones. It is the opposition's blame that the party in power has won them. However, no elections are held without fraud which can remain unnoticed for the observers. That is the opinion of Ruslan Kharabua, Senior Research Assistant of the Caucasian Department of the Russian Institute of CIS Countries. In his turn, Director of the Georgian Center of Strategic Research Irakliy Menagarishvili takes time to make any conclusions so long as the complaints consideration process still goes on.
Khutsishvili: These elections are different from all the previous ones because they went on in a well-organized and quiet manner. However, there were certain violations, mostly committed in provinces rather than in the capital. The observers and the participants of elections in the capital underline that the whole process was organized quite well. I believe this is a step forward compared to all the previous elections we had.
Kharabua: If we take the elections in any country, there is always certain deception that is not obvious for an ordinary man. To understand the entire system, one has to participate in the process. There have already been governmental elections the year before last in Georgia, as well as the presidential elections when the people and the opposition were actually deceived and made complaints about it. The task of the opposition is to disclose such facts. However, such facts are not always reported to the observers in this or that country. Georgia is one of the examples of real "deception" at the elections. It is practically impossible to say that the elections were held in an honest and fair way without any violations.
Menagarishvili: Many people underline that certain stages of the elections have been organized in a better way than the previous ones. As to the final estimates, one should better wait for the results and the completion of the whole process. The consideration of objections and applications and the parties' claims is a very important stage. I wish there were no incidents here; however, we shall see. There is still a chance to characterize these elections as fair, honest and democratic.
-What will help the ruling party to win?
Khutsishvili: The party in power will mostly win due to the weakness of the opposition. Not because the United National Movement is so popular among the people; there are certain claims on it already. The point is that the ruling party managed to win more votes compared to the opposition. The opposition is weak; it had failed to consolidate and nominate a single candidate. There were too many candidates on the part of the opposition, and the votes were distributed among them. Eventually, neither of them managed to win the majority. I believe that is the problem of the opposition. At a crucial moment like that, it should have got together and named a single candidate but it failed to.