Anzhej Klimchik. Opposition, where are you going?
December 11 this year Parliament of the tenth convocation began its work in Georgia. As expected, the opposition boycotted the first session of the parliament.
The opposition, dissatisfied with the results of the recent parliamentary elections, accused the authorities of falsifying these elections and allegedly stealing the opposition’s victory in these elections.
The opposition made claims not only against the ruling Georgian Dream party, but also against international observers. Representatives of the US and European Union embassies agreed to mediate between the opposition and the authorities in order to reach a political compromise. However, the irreconcilable positions of the parties did not allow reaching an agreement and compromise. Government officials insisted that the elections were free and democratic and fully reflected the will and mood of society. The opposition, accusing the authorities of falsifying the elections, demanded the cancellation of the results and the appointment of new parliamentary elections.
Thus, both the authorities and the opposition have driven themselves into a dead end.
According to the current regulations, the oldest member of the legislature opens the first session of parliament. And such a person was Vakhtang Kikabidze, number one on the party list of the largest opposition party, the United National Movement.
It is a pity that the opposition did not take advantage of this advantage and did not use this situation to present its position to a wide audience. It should be added that the session of the parliament was broadcast by all major Georgian TV channels.
During his speech, Kikabidze would have had a chance not only to present the position of the entire opposition, but also to explain the reasons for the boycott of the work of parliament. Besides, Kikabidze would have a great opportunity to criticize the ruling Georgian Dream party.
The opposition missed this chance.
Thus, the opposition, once again, showed its voters that it is more concerned with party interests, personal ambitions than the interests of the state.
As a good friend of mine said, “there is not enough mind, no brain.”
I would also like to add that in the modern world there is a principle: whoever is absent is wrong. It’s the same with political activity. If you are not visible then you do not exist. And the parliamentary tribune is one of the best platforms for self-presentation. This is the place where you can advertise your party, your program and criticize the authorities. And the whole country will hear it! The Parliamentary Tribune is the place where you can communicate directly with your constituency.
Yes. I agree. The last parliamentary elections were far from ideal, to put it mildly. This was not the peak of democracy. Both international observers and the local community have many comments and reservations about competition and freedom of elections. But they took place. The election results were recognized by the international community and the overwhelming majority of the Georgian society. If this were not so, Georgians would have massively participated in protests and street demonstrations organized by the opposition immediately after the October 31 elections. And this was not noticeable. Therefore, I believe that the boycott of the work of parliament is political suicide of the current opposition. This is both disrespect for their own voters and just political stupidity. A boycott of parliament also means a lack of long-term vision. If you will not be in parliament, you will be quickly forgotten. And returning to the local political scene will not be easy. You fell for the game of the ruling party. “Georgian Dream” divorced you like little children. You were led and lost. And now you behave like a small child who is offended, takes his toys and leaves the sandbox crying.
I am also very negative about the opposition’s refusal to fight in the second round of elections in single-mandate constituencies. You could win 17 seats! It was possible! If the opposition decided to fight on November 21 and won 17 more seats, it would have a total of 76 seats in parliament. This means two more places than “Georgian Dream” received. On November 21, the opposition surrendered without a fight. Have you chickened out? Scared? Or followed a different scenario? If they counted on the help of the United States and the European Union, they miscalculated. Comrades from the opposition. The West will not help you! I tell you as a Pole! I will only give you one. example. In 1939, Poland had signed agreements on cooperation and mutual assistance in case of war, among other things, with Britain and France. So what? When Nazi Germany invaded Poland, no one came to our aid. I stress. Nobody! Also, don’t count on a new American administration. The US must first “sort out” with Russia, Iran, China and, finally, with Turkey and the situation around Nagorno-Karabakh. And only then, perhaps, they will turn their gaze to Georgia. I want to tell you that the current situation fully suits the West. In view of internal problems in the European Union and the United States itself, Georgia is at the end of the international agenda of these states.
Therefore, you must solve your problems yourself. Today, the opposition’s activity reminds me of the situation in kindergarten. When Vova comes home, he cries and complains to his mother that he was offended in kindergarten. Mom asks: Little Johnny, who offended you? In response, Vova says that Lyosha. Mom was silent, thought about it and said: Lyosha can. Lyosha can because he is the son of the director of the kindergarten.
The same goes for the opposition. Instead of running to Western facilitators and harassing and harassing diplomats from various embassies, get down to business.
Refusal to enter parliament means that you have simply “thrown” your voters. They have chosen you and expect you to represent and defend their interests in parliament. In parliament, not on the street! Do you understand this? If this goes on, then your today’s voter will “throw” you at the next elections. This is especially true for small and pocket parties. If there is a 5% threshold in the next elections, only two parties will enter the next parliament: “United National Movement” and “Georgian Dream”. Voters will say “thank you and goodbye” to all other parties. The only way out of this situation is to combine efforts and create one party from several parties, which can count on significant support from the electorate. In the current situation, it seems that neither Girchi, nor Lelo, nor European Georgia, not to mention the Labor Party or Citizens, will be able to overcome the 5% electoral threshold and enter the future parliament. It doesn’t matter if there will be early elections or normal elections in 2024. It seems that only two parties have the potential for growth: “Strategy of Agmashenebeli” and “Alliance of Patriots of Georgia.” And this is possible only under certain conditions.
Firstly, it is necessary to change the technique of communication with the voter; it is necessary to find new approaches to communication with all segments of the population. The opposition needs to develop an adequate and attractive communication strategy with its voters. Secondly, it is necessary to attract as many famous and respected people as possible to party activity. And I am sure there are such people in Georgia. Thirdly: you need to forget and deeply hide your personal ambitions and grievances in relation to other opposition politicians and unite around one goal: to win the next parliamentary elections and, as a result, gain power.
Remember: the interests of the state come first! Not personal ambitions and party interests. In the meantime, it’s a shame. Not for the state. And for the opposition …
Andrzej Klimczyk, Polish diplomat