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Question of power being decided in Georgia

Georgia Materials 18 September 2012 09:00
The parliamentary elections in Georgia should be held on October 1 this year, and presidential elections will be held six months after.
Question of power being decided in Georgia

Arzu Naghiyev, Trend analyst

The parliamentary elections in Georgia should be held on October 1 this year, and presidential elections will be held six months after. In other words, on the upcoming October elections, a global question of whether Saakashvili will remain at his post or not, will be in the spotlight.

Research shows that the public interest in the upcoming elections has never been so high. The total number of voters in the 84 constituencies amounted to more than 3,600 million people.

But only 73 constituencies will operate as 11 constituencies located in Abkhazia and South Ossetia will not operate due to the lack of governance by Georgian laws as a result of territorial features.


But only 73 constituencies will operate as 11 constituencies located in Abkhazia and South Ossetia will not operate due to the lack of governance by Georgian laws as a result of territorial features.

It is expected that seventeen parties and two political blocks will participate in the elections. The main rivalry will be between the ruling "United National Movement" party, which is headed by President Saakashvili and the opposition bloc by Bidzina Ivanishvili, the "Georgian Dream".

It is already known that since Saakashvili will not be able to head the list of his party due to him being the president, the task will be undertaken by the Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili.

The "Georgian Dream" will be headed by former player of FC "Milan" Kakha Kaladze, considering that Bidzina Ivanishvili is not a citizen of Georgia.

Foreign observers are also showing great interest in the upcoming elections in Georgia. Official Tbilisi has already met with U.S. Republican Senator John McCain, a delegation headed by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Melia, foreign ministers of Estonia and five other European countries and the representatives of the observation mission of the Council of Europe.

In addition to Georgia, the polls for the citizens of Georgia are established in 43 cities of 36 countries (including two polling stations in Afghanistan, in an area where the Georgian troops are located.)

The polls will not operate in Russia, with which Georgia has no diplomatic relations. Thus, Georgians living in Russia will not participate in the election of the new government.

About seven thousand Georgian citizens, who work and live in Azerbaijan, will be able to vote at the polling station, which will be established in the Georgian embassy in Baku.

These elections are also very important for Azerbaijan. Georgia, through the territory of which the most important transport and energy arteries are passing, along with the fact that it is Azerbaijan's strategic partner, is also a country where around half a million Azerbaijanis live, who may affect the course of the election.

Baku and Tbilisi, aside from energy and communications, are also connected by the problem of territorial integrity. Incompleteness of contracts on delimitation and demarcation of borders, and facts of small territorial incidents are still topical.

Undeniable facts that territorial claims of Armenians living in Samskhe-Javakheti, and "the question of churches", still remain on the agenda. But despite this, the Armenian-Georgian relations are at a high level today, which isn't denied by the country's leadership.

If Saakashvili loses the elections it will lead to the weakening of Georgia's independence, and Russia, which is an ally of Armenia, will become a respected master in the region.

An important issue of concern to Azerbaijan - is Azerbaijanis living in Georgia.

Azerbaijanis compactly live in four regional centers of Kvemo-Kartli (Bolnisi) - Gardabani, Bolnisi, Dmanisi and Marneuli.

Despite the fact that dissatisfaction related to the settlement of land relations, government resettlement policy, native language education, a representation in the Georgian government and state agencies has been observed in these areas, these problems did not transfer to politics, and mainly focused on a joint solution of social problems.

If Azerbaijan is constantly keeping these problems under control, trying to solve them, Tbilisi does not always show willingness for carrying out Caucasus policy, which coincides with Azerbaijan's interests, and gives preference to Azerbaijan's priorities.

That is why Tbilisi should pay more attention to regional politics during the upcoming elections, until the beginning of which, not much time is left.

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