Citizens’ Union is Breaking Up

By Givi Ordenidze

Citizens’ Union is in chaos and confusion. The ruling party and the Majority are splitting into pieces. On September 28th session, the Majority (100 from the Citizens’ Union and 28 from Georgian Regions-Majorettes) dissolved into official groups, which might become separate factions.

Four possible faction/groups are shaping up:

1. Zhvania’s faction, or the Reformers 
2. Radical Reformers
3. Mamaladze’s faction
4. Chancellery’s/Khatidze’s faction (MPs loyal to President Shevardnadze)

“Zhvania’s Faction/Reformers” probably would be a largest union based upon old Citizens’ Union basis, e.g. it would be the major faction. This 40-members-strong (approximately) faction would be leaded by Revaz Adamia.

“Radical Reformers” (they have been given such name by their opponents) would join “activist” reformers, such as: Koba Davitashvili, Vasil Maglaperidze, Vano Merabishvili, Giorgi Baramidze, Kote Kemularia, Elene Tevdoradze, Lado Chipashvili etc. Up to now there are about 11-12 members of this group. Kote Kemularia states that number might increase to 15-17. Mikheil Saakashvili, if he wins elections in Vake district, would join into this faction.

“Zhvania’s Faction” and “Radical Reformers” certainly are one force and their split into two different factions might just bear only a tactical meaning. They will try to attract as much parliamentarians into reformers team as possible. Kote Kemularia confirms such suggestion. But at the same time such split might not happen at all.

“Mamaladze’s Faction” (Levan Mamaladze – Governor of Kvemo Kartli Region) would be made up of majorette MPs from the region and be leaded by Irakli Gogava, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Relations with the CIS Countries. As “Prime News” agency informs, the faction would have approximately 16 members.

“Chancellery’s” or “Khatidze’s” factions (Badri Khatidze – Head of Regional Policy and Management Service of the State Chancellery) would consist of Shevardnadze’s loyal parliamentarians. Kote Kemularia says, that 4 people pretend to lead the faction. These are: Archil Gogelia, Tengiz Gazdeliani, Armaz Shamanauri and Suliko Pavliashvili. Therefore, as Kemularia thinks, biggest uncertainty is in this group. Niko Lekishvili (former state minister) might become a member, or even a chairman of this faction. This might be quite probable because Lekishvili, as he has stated in one of the interviews, regards himself as a member of President’s team.

Chairman of the Legal Issues Committee Zurab Adeishvili says that formation of these new factions within the Parliamentary Majority does not necessarily mean a collapse of this primary union. ‘Lets-brake-up-but-still-be-together’ situation can not exist long because there are people of very different views and principles in a big team called the Majority. For instance, anti-corruption measures would a good example to describe the situation. Therefore, even if the union that Zurab Adeishvili spoke about would born, its existence is not to be long, but would be long enough to give the groups time for making future action plans.

With such allocation of forces, another majority might emerge as well. We should consider recent rapprochement of the alliance of “Traditionalists”, “Industrialists” and “New Abkhazia – Christian-Democrats” with Zhvania’s team. leader of the faction ‘XXI Century” Vakhtang Bochorishvili is also very loyal towards reformers and has openly supported Mikheil Saakashvili. The above leads us to the following possible scheme of the Majority:

  • The Reformers (“Radical reformers” and “Zhvania’s Faction”) – approx. 60 members

  • “Traditionalist” – 13

  • “Industrialists” – 14

  • “New Abkhazia – Christian-Democrats” – 10

  • Faction XXI Century  – 10
In such case total number of the new majority members would be 107. If this union attracts 11 more parliamentarians, then it would transform into “perfect” majority which would even be able to collect the quorum (118 votes).

Of course none of the above schemes is accurate and show only possible scenarios of power allocation in the Parliament. But nevertheless, these prognosis is being based on the recent developments in the Parliament and the positions of various political forces. Saakashvili’s return to the Parliament would play a major role in the processes, because he is a major driving force and leader of his team members. But this would only happen if he wins Vake district majorette elections on October 21st.


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