Georgian political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze has told Front News in an interview that the country’s opposition has lost the West’s support.
Q. Is the opposition’s current activeness after boycotting parliamentary sessions a plan B or a recognition of failure?
The opposition dislikes the word recognition. All their moves since the 2020 parliamentary polls have been fruitless. They declared a boycott but later took up their mandates. Then again the boycott and again the decision to enter the state legislature. They acted opposite to what they had told. The opposition seems not to have any plans.
Q. Is it not reasonable to change a plan if it doesn't work?
Of course, yes, but I have an impression that they lack the plan. The opposition has not won any elections since 2012. I think that they do not ask a question - ‘ What should we do to achieve success?” If you ask anyone why the United National Movement fails to win, they would say that the party is aggressive in the way they were while in office. People dislike an aggressive government because the people in the government become dangerous after a while. If you wish to win at least try to remove the aggressive image.
Q. So, you believe that the opposition is not seeking changes?
Maybe they are doing so in some situations. However, does a decision to enter the parliament need to take so long? You asked a question whether there are signs of a reasonable plan in the opposition’s actions. However, if the opposition lacks any reasonable plan what should we anticipate?
Q. The ruling party seems more confident. Is it connected with the weakening of the opposition?
Georgian politics has always been bipolar. Of course, if one party weakens, another strengthens. The opposition has lost one of its major levers - the support of the west. It has been a long time since the EU has not made critical comments (towards the current state leadership), if we do not consider the comments made by MEP Viola von Cramon. Those individual MEPs who make critical comments are mostly based on some surveys. Earlier the west had reactions on various processes, on facts. Now ex-president Mikheil Saakashvili is in prison, other issues are also taking place, but the west actually has no reaction.
Q. How would you explain this? Has the west abandoned Georgia or current tension over Ukraine has recovered our topics?
No, the Ukrainian crisis has further activated Georgia’s topic. Maybe they are disappointed by the opposition. The opposition has lost credibility in the west as their actions frequently benefit the Russian interests.
Q. What do you mean?
During the EU-mediated talks opposition was requested to enter the parliament and was told that if they refused to do so the move would make Russia happy. When there were reports that Saakashvili could return to Georgia, he was warned not to do so as the issue could also benefit Russian interests. Now, are you surprised that the west no longer supports the opposition?
Q. What about the government’s actions? Couldn’t they also cause disappointment in the west?
If there was disappointment, what? If the public was also disappointed by the government's actions what should they do? Should they return the United National Movement to office? You may answer that there are elections for these. However, there are elections where there is a choice between parties.