War and peace of Saakashvili and Ivanishvili16.01.2013 | 14:29
Saakashvili and Ivanishvili met again face to face during the celebration of the Old New Year. The meeting was informal and was held in the Patriarchate of Georgia on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of Patriarch Ilia II and the 35th anniversary of his enthronement. Ivanishvili arrived at the festal dinner first, Saakashvili arrived a little later. The first toast was sounded by the Prime Minister.
"Let the 2013 be a year of love! We, the government officials, government representatives, have an obligation - to continue the love given us by the spiritual leader of Georgia, and to build and develop our country with this attitude", said Ivanishvili. Saakashvili was brief. "I agree with the Prime Minister, he said everything", said the president.
Saakashvili and Ivanishvili sat on one couch, talking and even smiling, analysts note. They seemed to be trying to hide those sharp contradictions existing between their political forces.
Transfer of power in Georgia passes with difficulty. After winning the election on the 1st of October 2012, Ivanishvili's parliamentary majority is feeling heavy breathing of the "United National Movement", which is waiting some unforgivable mistake of the "Georgian Dream". And then, Saakashvili said, they will see, since the mood of the electorate is a changeable thing.
One of the most serious blows to the Saakashvili's regime was inflicted by Parliament, which has recently passed an amnesty law mentioning the political prisoners for the first time in the history of the country. Saakashvili certainly vetoed this law. He considers himself a democrat and convinces global community of this. A few days later Parliament "finished" the president - having collected the necessary number of votes the deputies overcame Saakashvili's veto.
Experts also speak about the psychological side of the informal meeting between Saakashvili and Ivanishvili. A few minutes on the screen in a rather peaceful atmosphere - for the average Georgian audience, accustomed to the fisticuffs and foul language in the parliament and the government, the meeting looked quite civilized. Expert on political issues Soso Tsiskarishvili notes that this fact is a kind of calming signal to the world community which is well informed about the tense situation in the political life of Georgia.
"I think this meeting was no accident. In my opinion, this is a manifestation of the effort by the Catholicos Patriarch of Georgia to reduce confrontation between the two main political forces. He has repeatedly made statements about the need for unity", says Soso Tsiskarivshili. "The fact that the two leaders sat at the banquet table just serves to Patriarch's aims. It is very important that the politicians correctly assess the role of Ilia II in the political life of Georgia, and this once again proves how high his authority is".
"At the same time, I am not very optimistic, because I think that such relationships between the president and the Prime Minister cannot go on continuously", Tsiskarishvili continues. "Of course, it would be good to continue such a communication, but it can give some result only if the politicians remain willing to cooperate with each other after returning to their offices", he says.
Saakashvili's statements made after the meeting indicates that the political standoff between the main rivals goes on. Speaking in Kutaisi, the president elaborated on the intentions of the parliamentary majority to return the legislature body back to Tbilisi. Mikheil Saakavshili called this "the desire to kill Kutaisi and turn it into an extinct town".
"If the parliament is located not in Kutaisi, this deprives the city of a lot of tourist attractions and thousands of jobs", Saakashvili said. "In this case we are also unable to develop Kutaisi airport, which we wanted to turn into a major airport in Europe. They say, "We are going home". Can the only one of the quarters of Tbilisi be the home for the country's authorities?", Saakashvili asked the opponents.
Saakashvili also said that he has overcome corruption, solved the problem of electricity, got rid of the criminals. According to him, new government can negate all these achievements.
Expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze does not rule out that as a result of such meetings they can achieve some warming, but only temporarily. Too many contradictions exist between Ivanishvili and Saakashvili, Sakvarelidze says.
"Of course, such meetings could become a king steps in their approaching, but I still doubt it. And after the meeting at the Patriarchate Saakashvili continues to make usual statements and acts in the same style as before, so it is very early to speak about their reconciliation. I think that Ivanishvili and Saakashvili met by chance, and both parties have shown ability to observe the etiquette. But etiquette is etiquette, and politics is politics", said Ramaz Sakvarelidze.