aarrrrrrggggghhhhhhhhh — I missed the biggest political event of the year
May 28, 2012 6 Comments
How could this happen? How I could be rewriting my book proposal and editing my film at home when 80,000 people were gathering in the heart of Tbilisi in order to show their support for the opposition candidate for prime minister/president???? I could have missed the second Rose Revolution, for pity’s sake.
On the other hand, some Georgian journalists didn’t know that a huge crowd was going to turn out to show their support for Bidzina Ivanishvili and his Georgian Dream party. The national TV stations did not inform the public, but that’s no surprise; the national TV stations are controlled by Misha Saakashvili’s party. I’ve heard that word was spread via Facebook and via the TV station owned by Ivanishvili.
To learn more, please read this article in The New York Times. The photo also came from The Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/28/world/europe/tens-of-thousands-in-georgia-protest-president.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y
Although I can’t report, I will add a little analysis. As I wrote in an earlier blog, I believe that Saakashvili will “pull a Putin.” After 8 years as president, he will serve as prime minister. Misha has already convinced “his” parliament to change the constitution in order to transfer most of the power from the president to the prime minister. Until yesterday, I didn’t think that any party could present a significant challenge to the National Movement Party. Misha’s party simply has too much power. It controls the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of government as well as the TV part of the “fourth estate,” the news media. But today–today the opposition has hope, and the National Movement Party is scared. The key event will be the Parliamentary elections in Fall 2012. Will Bidzina’s party gain enough seats to choose the prime minister? Or will Saakashvili’s party prevail? If Bidzina’s party wins, who will become prime minister? If Saakashvili’s party wins. . . well . . . Misha has not denied that he would become prime minister.
One final twist. Bidzina is not allowed to run for office. His opposition party, however, introduced a bill that would change the constitution to enable Bidzina to run. Parliament passed the bill. We are waiting to learn if Saakashvili will sign the bill. If Saakashvili signs the bill, Bidzina will NOT run for office. Surprise!! Why not? Because Bidzina disapproves of changing the country’s constitution to benefit an individual, even if that individual is himself. Now, if you’re like me, you’re wondering whether Bidzina would truly stay out of politics after 80,000 people in Tbilisi showed their support? Maybe. Maybe Bidzina will push another into the prime minister role and Bidzina will simply become an advisor to the government. I don’t think that the richest man in Georgia, with $6 billion or so, is seeking power.
Look carefully at this photo. Notice that it says that Saakashvili is building a new Georgia. Not the National Movement Party. Not all Georgians. Just Misha. Moreover, the location of this sign is quite remarkable. It hangs on the front of the Parliament building. Can you imagine the US Congress allowing President Barack Obama to hang a huge campaign sign on the front of its building? The Republicans would go nuts, and rightly so.