Georgia waits for a 'third force'
According to the results of a survey, released by Rustavi 2 TV channel, most people in Georgia today has not yet decided for whom they will give voice in the next year's parliamentary elections. The survey involved more than 1000 residents of the country.
The respondents noted that Georgian Dream was able to achieve certain successes in the field of education and health, as well as in its relations with the European Union. However, Georgians are not satisfied with low pensions and high unemployment. In addition, some people complain about the lack of progress in the relations with Russia. At the same time, the former ruling party United National Movement doesn't have great support of the population.
Such mindsets of the population give rise to the hope that a kind of third force will appear in the political arena, which they will support.
The head of the Center for Global Studies, Nana Devdariani, told Vestnik Kavkaza that there are already two candidates for such a 'third force'. "This is the coalition of Burjanadze and the Alliance of Patriots. It is most likely that these associations will have the votes of disaffected Georgian voters. They have supporters, so it would be preferable for the voters if they were united, because the coalition of Burjanadze had 11% in 2014, while the Alliance of Patriots had 8%. However, together they had almost 20%, which is a serious figure," she explained.
For his part, the political scientist Giorgi Nodia does not consider that there are candidates for a 'third force' in Georgia. "This picture is not unique, it often happened that the majority of voters couldn't decide who to vote for. A need for a 'third force' is being discussed, but I do not see any concrete outlines of it. Of course a miracle can happen, as it happened before the election of 2012, when in 2011 Mr. Ivanishvili fell from the sky," the expert noted.
However, he warned that, in the absence of an alternative, citizens still have to choose the lesser of two evils. "The Georgian Dream and the UNM are still the main players. It is premature to say which of them will be stronger. However, bearing in mind our electoral system, it can be expected that the Georgian Dream will try to gain a majority in the parliament due to single-mandate," Nodia said.
Political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze told Vestnik Kavkaza that "Georgia is facing the risk that if there will be no new political force, the majority of voters might not go to the elections at all. And if it will appear, then it is possible that people will vote without reference to this force. This has happened more than once. In addition, the problem is that a new force has very little time to introduce itself and its political platform, so it is possible that the voters will give their voices to it only as a protest," he expects.
"If the turnout threshold will be overcome, most voters will choose Georgian Dream, but the novelty of this election is that the majority of voters will vote in favor of the various opposition groups. The UNM is unlikely to have more than 10-15%," Ramaz Sakvarelidze suggested.