Elections for Georgian parliament have been recognized valid
This is the only thing that can be said for sure about the "people's choice" in Georgia is that the elections that took on Sunday, November 1. More than 50 per cent of voters participated in the elections (according to the Georgian law, the elections are recognized valid if one third of the electors voted).
However, there were some excesses - elections have been recognized not valid in 17 polling stations which will have another voting procedure in two weeks. But this is not a significant problem because the past elections in Georgia had more than 2800 polling stations.
According to the preliminary estimates, the renewed Georgian Parliament will have only four out of more than three dozens parties and political organizations which could obtain more than 7 per cent of votes. They are pro-president bloc For new Georgia, which became a leader, Saakashvili - People's Movement bloc which has the second position and the Labor Party (third position). Burdzhanadze-Democrats bloc has the fourth position. Although these parties and blocs can have slightly different ratings after the final results of the elections will be known. It is possible that some other political parties can obtain seats in the renewed Parliament. But in any case, they cannot become serious competitors for the four leaders.
The analysis of the elections results illustrate that the proponents of Shevarnadze cannot hold the control over the Parliament. They have not more than 5 per cent of the votes ahead of their biggest competitor - Saakashvili-People's Movement bloc.
It can be seen after counting the votes the blocs and parties of opposition can have the majority of the seats in the Parliament. Meanwhile, Mikhael Saakashvili has already said that the authorities distorted the election results and his bloc is the actual leader, not For New Georgia movement. This statement illustrates the idea that the pro-president movement will hardly enjoy the majority of seats in the Georgian Parliament.
The pro-president fraction can improve its standing with the help of the deputes elected according to the party nominations (who have 75 out of 235 seats in the Parliament). Meanwhile, not all of then can be the proponents of Shevarnadze. The Georgian President considered the elections to be the best in independent Georgia. But he pointed at some drawbacks and said that they were created by the oppositions which should be blamed for the violence at some polling stations. The Georgian Attorney General office will investigate these facts, said Shevarnadze.
The elections in Georgia were conducted in accordance with the plan of the former US Secretary of State James Baker who is a friend of Shevarnadze: five members of the Georgian Central Election Committee were appointed by the government, the other nine represented opposition, and the chairman was the respectable representative of the Georgian society who is not active in politicis. This position was filled by Nana Devdariani who was the Representative for Human Rights (called in Georgia as People's Defender. But many in the opposition consider her to be recommended by Shevarnadze which contradicts Baker's plan. The plan also failed in the point of preventing from violence. The incidents of violence created by opposition resulted in bringing additional military forces in some of Georgian towns, for example Rustavi and Zugdidi). In these two towns the authorities demonstrated too serious reactions - local residents only protested against the mistakes in the lists of voters.
However, it is early to say about political stability in Georgia even after agreeing with Shevarnadze that the elections Но have been the best for the whole history of independent Georgia. It is hard to tell what situation will be in Georgia during the presidential elections which will take place in 2005. Considering that the elections of the President come soon, many analysts called the elections to the Parliament as a rehearsal for the presidential elections. This rehearsal was not successful for Shevarnadze. On the one hand, he told many times that he was not going to become a candidate for the presidency. The problem is Shevarnadze has no successor - during his presidency Shevarnadze has had arguments with all significant politicians who are now in opposition to him. However, the "White Fox" is known for its shrewdness. Before parliamentary elections Shevarnadze said that Georgia should impress the world with conducting fair democratic elections. It is hard to say whether the world has been impressed but the Georgian President himself received many unexpecting impressions.