Triumph of democracy in Georgia15.10.2012 | 15:34
Results of the parliamentary election in Georgia have seriously surprised many analysts. Most of them assume that even in case of opposition's victory Saakashvili would not agree with this and would take steps in order not to transfer the power. He had certain levers for this, as well as huge experience of suppression of those dissatisfied. But Saakashvili has admitted defeat before the announcement of the official results of the election. So what has happened in Georgia?
At first glance, Saakashvili has just paid tribute to the democratic choice of the people. Being a pro-Western politician he has agreed to share the power. This state of affairs and developments is the best outcome for the Georgian people in such situation. There are several factors allowing talking about this.
First, this is the first time in recent Georgia's history, when the opposition has defeated the ruling party through the election. Second, for the first time the power accepts the defeat and agrees to cooperate with the winning political power. Third, this is the first time when after the election situation in Georgia begins to stabilize.
All this shows that for the years of independence the political forces and the people of Georgia as a whole have made a big step to the realization and perception of democratic ideals. The situation allows us talking about this, in spite of all the political scandals and confrontations over the recent years in Georgia. And this is a significant progress, with account taken of the Soviet past of this country.
But all this is not the main thing concerning the political community of the region. Will a new political force normalize the situation in Georgia, achieve real economic growth and improve the welfare of its citizens? How they will develop relations with its neighbors, including Russia? What will be Georgia's position towards Abkhazia and South Ossetia? All these questions are important because they directly affect the entire situation in the region and, accordingly, may affect the policies of neighboring states.
Political scientist Gabil Huseynli believes that the answer to these questions is difficult, since the political power, winning in the election, is a coalition, and this is always fraught with cleavages. At the present moment the winners are experiencing euphoria, but the period of specific work starts soon. They will divide portfolios and positions. And there may be differences. Only after the victorious "Georgian Dream" crosses this line, you can specifically answer these questions. In the meantime, we can make assumptions about certain issues. For example, it is alarming that the winners incline to confrontation. This can be seen in the sharp statements against Saakashvili. After all, they have to work together for a year (if only they do not start a new revolution or do not try to hold parliamentary impeachment). Otherwise, the situation in Georgia, which has a lot of unresolved issues, may become catastrophic.
Speaking about foreign policy the analyst suggests that the presence in the victorious coalition of a large number of pro-Russian forces will lead to rapprochement with its northern neighbor. "Despite this, we should not expect a change in the situation around Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Status quo, established in the region since August of 2008, will remain, since this suits Russia. And to change the situation without Russia's participation is impossible. We can assume that in the near future the parties undertake some steps in the direction of opening the borders and the resumption of trade and economic relations. This in turn will contribute to further rapprochement of Georgia with neighboring Armenia, which is an outpost of Russia's policy in the Caucasus", the analyst concludes.
Nevertheless, this won't affect Georgia's relationships with Azerbaijan and Turkey, which now have friendly relations with Tbilisi. These countries have high economic interests that benefit both sides. In the short term, these relationships will also be developed. As for Ivanishvili's statement on the entry into NATO, "we should wait and see", Gabil Huseynli pointedly summed up with a smile.