Will Georgian Dream be able to hold on to power?
November turned out to be extremely stressful for the Georgia's ruling Georgian Dream party. Demonstrators rallied outside the parliament building, which often led to clashes between protesters and law enforcement officials. This time, the demonstrations were caused by the fact that the long-awaited constitutional changes that were supposed to make a democratic transition from a mixed electoral system to a proportional one was scrapped in the first reading. At the same time, the protesters are demanding the government's resignation and an early parliamentary election.
The ruling party is facing an internal political crisis, which creates a serious political vacuum, but the party ranks lack new faces. The political spectrum in Georgia is now limited to two main opponents, criticized by everyone the Georgian Dream and the nationalist opposition.
The Armenian scenario through unlimited rallies seems unrealistic, since the current Georgian leadership's policy is not irritating as much as the corrupt Karabakh clan in Armenia. The opposition can weaken the Georgian Dream as much as possible. In this case, the opposition United National Movement (UNM) party is quite capable of forming a coalition and gathering an absolute majority from the parties that have entered parliament, but only if the voting system reform is carried out. However, one of the Georgian Dream's significant political successes was the fact that during the years in power it has managed to split its main opponent of the UNM into small parties. For example, that's how the European Georgia party appeared, which now holds 21 seats in the parliament of the republic.
Nevertheless, the GD miss the right moment to restore image losses by the autumn. The use of force to disperse the rally has allowed the political forces criticizing the authorities to say that the ruling party has no qualified personnel capable of holding dialogue with both the population and the opposition. This cannot but affect the level of public confidence in the authorities.
The only way out for the Georgian Dream is to prove that the "other form of democracy" proposed by the opposition can push the country into the abyss of political chaos. In particular, the authorities draw attention to the fact that the protesters' actions go beyond peaceful protest and result in violations of Article 9 of the Law of Georgia "On Assemblies and Demonstrations".
The opposition has its own "skeletons in the closet." This primarily relates to aggressive methods of political struggle, an ultimatum policy towards opponents. Despite the organization of the protests, the opposition forces are scattered and do not have the necessary resources and the will to unite and work as a team. They have one goal - to overthrow founder and leader of the ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili. But after that, the future seems vague.
Under such conditions, it will be very difficult to carry out reforms to restore public confidence. On the one hand, society has questions for the government, but on the other hand, the people of Georgia see no worthy alternative in the political elite. A cautious and flexible policy of the opposition’s leadership toward the Georgian Dream can deescalate tensions, which benefit the forces that are rocking the republic. Only after tensions are deescalated it will be possible to come up with systemic solutions to problems. This primarily concerns reforms in public administration and social policy. Without some significant improvement in the social status of citizens, it will be difficult for the Georgian Dream to regain confidence lost after the 2012 election and talk about any prospects.