October 3, 2012
The crash test for democracy in Georgia was proved “failed” as discussions around the formation of government are stuck amongst the interests of the two candidates, the role of Russia, and the possible plans for destabilization. Yet we see that money can buy everything, and this is the case of Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The leader of the coalition called “Georgian Dream” which won the parliamentary elections of the 1st of October is now pressing President Saakashvili to resign from his presidency mandate which officially ends at autumn 2013. Ivanishvili’s arrogance is without precedent as it is eloquent from his first reactions and statements that he wants to make Georgia his protectorate, break down the constitutional rules, and possibly attach Russian political interests into his country.
Georgia’s geopolitical position is of crucial importance as it is the gate of NATO in Central Asia, found in the centre of a belligerent and quite unstable zone of Caucasus. In addition to that, Russia can now be confident that Ivanishvili would definitely avoid to distance his country from Kremlin’s wider sphere of influence unlike what his predecessor had endeavored to achieve in the past. It seems very fragile for a country like Georgia to turn again into an authoritative state runned by a political figure that came into politics not with the aim to refresh and democratize the economic and political realm, but to plunge it down to a solidified area where only privileged people will have a saying and where the public will once again be deserted and destined to play the role of spectator in national politics.
Nonetheless, even Saakashvili was described and analyzed as one of the same, being equally a “dark” figure which took advantage of the will of the Georgians to track a fully independent role in the region, but finally ended up in managing and pretending to fight against Russia’s influence with no specific results. It is a big game in Georgia, even more now that the energy game is getting tougher globally, and Russia is not at all willing to demise its prominent role and position in Caucasus, especially regarding its ex-satelite states.
All things considered, I personally believe that the recent elections in Georgia have literally put another stone in the bigger image of the Russian influence game in Caucasus, where different leaderships alter without bringing in practice a wider and deeper dream for the Georgian people. A dream that would definitely be the acquisition of full independence against any direct or indirect imposing factor or power from abroad.Dimitris Rapidis