The coined formula of democracy is reflected in the known quote: "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
The recent events in Georgia will obviously become a reason to revise the lexical meaning of the word “democracy.” At least, there are various forms of this political order.
Georgia has dozens of political parties and half of those parties are not known to the biggest part of the population. Among them is the Centrist Party. The former minister of the interior Timur Khachishvili founded it as early as in 2002. Until recently, the Georgian voters have had no idea of it. The people have first learnt about it from election campaign ads on the Public Television. The campaign ad of the Centrist Party was called scandalous and came as a bombshell.
In its campaign television ad, the Centrist Party showed images of Russian President Vladimir Putin, tanks with Russian flags. Voters were promised pensions in the amount of 400 lari (about 170 US dollars), dual citizenship (Russian-Georgian), redeployment of the Russian military bases in Georgia and an end to the confrontation with the Russian Federation.
The Centrist Party declared that Russia as compared to other countries has the maximum possibilities to settle Georgia’s problems.
This sparked a wave of indignation in Georgia’s political field. Many political parties lodged claims against the Centrist Party demanding it to be removed from the political field. Irreconcilable rivals Georgian Dream, the Republican Party that has recently separated from it, and the notorious United National Movement Party lodged similar claims. A range of NGOs did the same.
It should be recalled that at the height of the cold war, even during the Berlin and Caribbean crises when the humanity was on the brink of a global nuclear disaster, communist parties freely functioned in U.S., England, France, Italy and other countries of Western democracy and even had seats in their parliaments. Hardly had the ruling circles of those countries welcomed the communist slogans, but even then no one thought to liquidate those parties. Democracy was the reason.
As Winston Churchill used to say, “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried.”
Overreacting at first, the Georgian Dream grasped that a judicial ban on a political party makes democracy in Georgia very special. The Central Election Commission of Georgia found a brilliant reason not to register it for the parliamentary elections – the party lacks official chairman. (Hasn’t the CEC noticed that circumstance before?) That judgment worthy of Solomon was read out by Gia Volski, the leader of the parliamentary majority.
“The party has not authorized persons who would speak on its behalf. Proceeding from this, the claim becomes senseless. From the viewpoint of politics, the claim is inexpedient, since the party does not run for the parliament,” he said.
As for the United National Movement, it is not that easy to get rid of it. They need to lay the guilt on their rivals in any case. Irma Nadirashvili, a representative of UNM, turned on CEC Chairwoman Tamar Zhvania.
“Tamar Zhvania is engaged in creating problems to the pro-Western parties, but we understand that she is not guilty, as she just fulfills the orders of Bidzina Ivanishvili. It is his goal to strengthen the parties supporting Putin in Georgia,” Nadirashvili said.
It is very interesting what kind of difficulties have the pro-Western parties of Georgia faced? As for the difficulties of the National Movement, they are not political, but criminal.
UNM demands CEC to reject another party that dared to voice a neutral stance on Russia – Neutral Georgia. Led by journalist Valery Kvaratskhelia, Neutral Georgia Party dared to swim upstream in the Georgian policy.
From the viewpoint of UNM, Kvaratskhelia’s party is subject to political elimination also because it invited Centrist Vladimir Bedukadze. This man needs special introduction. Prior to the parliamentary elections of 2012, it was he who made public the inhuman tortures of the UNM’s jailed rivals and other prisoners.
No one can deny that the video of tortures was the last drop that made the cup run over and the terrorized people of Georgia comprehended that they must stop fearing and must break the silence; otherwise, it will be late.
Bedukadze says he is not going to surrender. “We will not stop fighting. We will surely prepare new surprises to the government and will fight till the end. Our struggle will bring results, and our idea will necessarily be delivered to the voters", said Bedukadze.
Actually, the witch hunt continues in Georgia in keeping with the best traditions of McCarthyism.
Irma Nadirashvili presented the major goal of her party United National Movement – to overthrow Putin’s key ally in Georgia, Bidzina Ivanishvili – and promised to put the country on the right path after winning the elections.
However, the country still remembers in a cold sweat the “right path” of UNM.
Why do they need to fight so furiously the parties that refuse from Russophobia?
Democracy easily settles such issues - the parties that have not enlisted the public support will get miserable percentage of votes and fail. Then, one can make fun of them, mock them and speak of their political failures – here is the victory of democracy. The major reason for a ban is the fear factor. Everyone understands that these parties in Georgia with their political platform will get a significant number of votes and enter the parliament, since the political orientation of the elite and the people of Georgia are very different. That is why a dangerous rival must be quashed.
As Georgian politician Jaba Ioseliani said: “Democracy is not lobio-eating.”
Irakli Chkheidze for EADaily