Bidzina Ivanishvili

About the Georgian parliamentary election

The parliamentary election in Georgia this week has been very surprising, for several reasons. I believe this could be the first time that the opposition “officially” beats the ruling party (by actual vote count and not simply by exit poll results). That would be a tremendous step forward for a country where, at least in the past, those in power could fix things to assure themselves a victory, and the people could do little about it. The final results aren’t in yet, but this could be the first time for the country to have a transition of power that happens through elections, and not by means of a coup, civil war, or mass protest. The people need and deserve that kind of precedent.

I was also surprised that President Mikheil Saakashvili acknowledged that his ruling party would now become the opposition–before all the votes were even counted.

English: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvil...

English: Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi, March 22, 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Going from the time I’ve spent living there and all of the political conversations I’ve had with Georgians, such “gentlemanly” behavior is not typical for their country’s politics. (more…)