A woman of "Georgian Dream"28.03.2013 | 13:22
Will Salome Zurabishvili become presidential candidate from the coalition "Georgian Dream"? While it is known only that the former head of the Georgian Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili are conducting active consultation. What is known about these negotiations, and how real is the possibility that a woman becomes the country's president for the first time in the history of Georgia?
Presidential election in Georgia is getting closer, and the camp of "Georgian Dream" is keeping silence about the candidate from the ruling party. Analysts believe that this silence proves only one thing - there is a serious internal consultation, details of which are being kept in strict confidence.
Recently, the Georgian media reported that former Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili, who has joined the opposition like many other supporters of president Saakashvili, can get a "significant position" in the government of Georgia. But which one?
There're no vacancies in the Cabinet; the Prime Minister Ivanishvili has repeatedly stated he was satisfied with the work of the government. The only Minister with whom Ivanishvili had a conflict is the Defense Minister and former Deputy Prime Minister Irakli Alasania, who later was dismissed as the Deputy Prime Minister. The dispute, by the way, was also related to the post of president, since Alasania had not agreed this issue with someone of the coalition leadership.
Alasania has lost not only portfolio of the Deputy Prime Minister, however, retaining the post of Defense Minister. Most likely, he won't become a candidate for president from the "Georgian Dream", which was not ruled out by Ivanishvili before the parliamentary election. And the candidacy of Vakhtang Khmaladze, representative of the Republican Party, which was once casually mentioned by Bidzina Ivanishvili, looks so unserious, that neither Ivanishvili nor "Republicans" or even Khmaladze himself believe in such an opportunity.
Zurabishvili held the post of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia in 2004-2005. She was dismissed on the 19th of October 2005, after the president's party "United National Movement" and the Parliament Speaker Nino Burjanadze accused her of incompetence. Then Mikheil Saakashvili supported the position of the Chairman of the Parliament, saying that under the Foreign Ministry Zurabishvili chaos reigned in the country.
After resignation, Zurabishvili joined the opposition and created a political movement "Way of Georgia". Her most famous phrase of the period is as follows: "Time of savages and rednecks in Georgian politics must sink into oblivion." However, her party has not achieved significant progress in the political life of the country.
Information about any secret talks between Ivanishvili and Salome Zurabishvili appeared recently. Zurabishvili doesn't speak about the post offered her by Ivanishvili, and whether he has offered it at all, but notes that the she is "ready for anything." "I do not know on which post I would be more useful to Georgia," Zurabishvili said, speaking on Georgian television. "I live in France, and every time I come to Georgia I meet with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. Course, I'd like to refrain from disclosure of details, since that can put me in an awkward position,", said Zurabishvili.
Experts also do not exclude that in the presidential election Ivanishvili will stake not on the members of his coalition, but on the person from the outside - to balance the situation. The more that the coalition "Georgian Dream" consists of several parties that have frequent disagreements. "One of Zurabishvili's advantages is that she has long lived in France and has some links among political circles," expert on political issues Georgi Khutsishvili told GeorgiaTimes. "Of course, we are not speaking about Alasania, though in the beginning Ivanishvili mentioned his name and said he could take the highest office. Later he called Vakhtang Khmaladze, but his name was called in passing. And now they are silent for a long time. But I'm sure that consultations are underway, and they are active enough. However, the "Georgian Dream" fails to hide the information from the media. I think that the specific nominations will be announced in late April or early May," said Khutsishvili.
But an expert on international issues Tornike Sharashenidze says that the nomination of Zurabishvili as a candidate for president is "quite possible", but at this stage it is difficult to make specific predictions. "I think the "Georgian Dream" has enough time to determine the candidate," Sharashenidze said in an interview to GeorgiaTimes. "Will it be Zurabishvili? Probably. I think that Zurabishvili himself has not fully determined his own future plans. For example, today she does not live in Georgia, so the final decision depends not only on Bidzina Ivanishvili," said Sharashenidze.
In October 2013, Georgia has to elect the 4th president. But if Salome Zurabivshili becomes the president, she would be the first female president in Georgia. Nino Burjanadze has twice served as acting president: first time in 2003, the year after the removal of Eduard Shevardnadze, and second time - in late 2007 and beginning of 2008, when Saakashvili voluntarily resigned, however, after only a month, regained his seat of president of Georgia. Georgia has never elected female president.