World press on political situation in Georgia (November 6, 2013)

The independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta, partly owned by former Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev, published an article by Yelena Milashina headlined "The prince is growing up" devoted to the political situation in Georgia.


According to the author, Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's decision to choose Interior Minister Irakli Garibashvili as his successor may be dangerous for the future of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition. Ivanishvili prefered Garibashvili to Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, one of the most influential Georgian politicians, because he doesn't trust professional bureaucrats and would rather see his former employee as the new prime minister (Garibashvili started his career working as a manager in Ivanishvili's company), the author writes.


However, Alasania and his supporrtes may not be happy with such a choice. If Alasania's Our Georgia - Free Democrats party leaves the coalition, the position of Georgian Dream and especially the Republican Party in Georgian politics will be shaken, Milashina writes.


This may be favourable for the opposition United National Movement party founded by Mikheil Saakashvili, she underlines. One should understand that Saakashvili's party is still the most massive and well-organized political party in the country. 


In such a case Ivanishvili will have no other choice than to establish an alliance with far-right forces, whose power became obvious after the recent violent dispersal of the Tbilisi gay pride parade. Businessman Levon Vasadze, a vocal critic of the LGBT rights concept, is one of Ivanishvili's close friends, the author of the article underlines. 


Vasadze is also a close associate of Georgian Patriarch Iliya II, the most popular public figure in the country, and the godfather of 2-year old Prince Georgy Bagration, the heir to the Georgian throne. Prince Georgy's parents represent both branches of the Bagrationi royal dynasty - the Mukhrani and the Gruzinsky, the author explains, hinting that the restoration of the monarchy may be Ivanishvili's best choice in order to remain in power, despite possible political tensions.