The Union of Bidzina Ivanishvili16.12.2011 | 20:14
The oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili is creating a victorious coalition in cooperation with the Republican Party and Irakli Alasania. At some moment it will become a voting bloc and, of course, it is capable of winning. GeorgiaTimes decided to ask participants of this process and observers of what people are uniting in the union and what they can do for the common future victory.
Now the biggest Ivanishvili's problem is his Georgian passport. The trial on this case continues at the Tbilisi City Court. Most likely, the court's decision has already been written in the State Chancellery and lies in judge's cabinet. And most likely, it is not in favor of the oligarch. If they do not reinstate his citizenship, then the party will have to manage with pseudo chairman. But it is clear to all who will steer. In any case, the pivot of the union is Bidzina Ivanishvili. Georgia has already fallen in love with him and ready to replace a bit boring Saakashvili by him.
Let's look at the new political environment of the tycoon. A key figure in it is Irakli Alasania, a politician with a two percent rating. But it is only now - and only according to the agencies that are clearly sympathetic to the regime. In fact, while Bidzina Ivanishvili lived in his modest foothill village, it was Alasania who has managed to embody the opposition's dream. Many Georgians are fleeing ahead of the engine and have already "chosen" the new leaders of the country. They say the next ruling tandem will be president Alasania and Prime Minister Ivanishvili.
Also the republicans have joined the tycoon's bloc. This party is maybe stronger than the other opposition forces, but does not possess a particular strength in the struggle for power. In a word, Ivanishvili is a horse on which the opposition may eventually enter the power. But the question remains: why the oligarch wants such weak and a little capable associates?
Radical Georgian opposition leader Irina Sarishvili has extremely negative attitude toward the republicans. In an interview to GeorgiaTimes she explained her point of view. "The republicans in their spirit are not different from the government. The only thing they could not share is government positions. Their attitude to foreign policy, tax policy, to absolutely everything is not different from the ideology of authorities", Sarishvili said. Besides, the republicans, she said, have a bad reputation: "Many try not to communicate, not to approach to them closely. They seem to be toxic. They have no rating and no chance of power".
If everything is really so, then it is unclear why Ivanishvili wants "toxic" companions. According to Sarishvili, Alasania is not a strong player who can succeed without the support of Ivanishvili. "He was engaged in foreign policy, and therefore in the public consciousness he is not directly associated with the government. But his position is also weak, and few people remember the name of his party", our interlocutor said.
However, not all in Tbilisi spoke about the opposition members so bad. And not everyone is ready to write them off. GeorgiaTimes asked political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze, why Ivanishvili needs companions with such a low rating. "The opposition really has a problem with the ratings, but they have some electorate. In total, they can bring Ivanishvili an advantage. And the election when every vote will matter is very soon", the analyst explained.
Sakvarelidze considers it necessary to pay attention to statements by the leader of the Christian Democrats George Targamadze - about the emergence of a third force. "A part of the opposition may be united under the banners of a certain third force, announced by Targamadze. If the oppositional electorate divides, first of all, for Ivanishvili it would be the worst in the first place. Therefore, objectively, he's interested in gathering all the opposition parties around him", Ramaz Sakvarelidze said.
As soon as the New Year holidays in Georgia run out, the pre-election campaign begins. It will be very interesting, of course. Ivanishvili's appearance in politics gave it the same vitality as seven or eight years ago, under Eduard Shevardnadze. But Mikhail Saakashvili has no time for the memories: he has a weighty reason to be nervous. Chances of the "United National Movement" to retain the status of the ruling party are ambiguous. The experts suggest the following layout: the party of power gets to forty percent of the vote, Ivanishvili's block - thirty to thirty-five percent. The third strength (which yet exists only in theory), perhaps, will get all the other voices. In general, the fight is expected to be serious. They will fight for every vote; and the popular oligarch, apparently, needs the opposition's services.