02/09/2024, 10.07
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The Iraklij waltz in Tbilisi

by Vladimir Rozanskij

Prime Minister Garibašvili has given way to his namesake Kobakhidze, who succeeds him at the head of the Georgian Dream, the ruling party. The exchange between the two leaders was decided as usual by the oligarch Bidzina Ivanišvili probably to scale down the personal ambitions of the 'vassals'. Who were also competing with each other in relations with China.

Tbilisi (AsiaNews) - In Georgia there is much discussion about the "Irakli move", with the exchange of prime minister Garibashvili, who gave way to the namesake Kobakhidze, in turn taking his place as president of the ruling Dream party Georgian. With the exchange of factors the product does not change on a mathematical level, but this rule does not automatically apply to politics.

The exchange of the two leaders was decided by the "chess master" of Georgian politics, the oligarch Bidzina Ivanišvili, who returned to the throne of the party with the position of honorary president, arousing many comments.

The representative of the opposition party “For Georgia”, Veka Liluašvili, claims that “all the power in the country is in the hands of Ivanišvili, and it does not matter what the puppet is in his hands, in a role or in other".

Other commentators wonder what the real balance is within the governing party, and whether the two protagonists of the waltz have taken a step forward or backward. It is not easy to unravel, as the power games in Georgia take place mainly behind the scenes, and the former prime ministers appointed by the Georgian Dream, Garibašvili, Kvirikašvili, Bakhtadze and Gakharya have alternated on various levels of the power pyramid.

The system built by the oligarch Ivanišvili is often called the “unitary mafia”, in the sense that internal rearrangements never change its compactness, and even now the slogan Dva Iraklija, odna mafia (“Two Iraklij, one mafia” is repeated ”), always under the hat of godfather Bidzina.

Even the mayor of Tbilisi, the ex-footballer Kakha Kaladze, and the interior minister Vakhtang Gomelauri are considered "loyal picciotti", together with numerous other "advisers", for whom the classic definitions of Sicilian mafia jargon are often used spread by films and literature, such as regional bosses, sometimes also called American-style underbosses.

The analogies between Caucasian Georgia and the Mediterranean lands date back to the history of this land, formerly called Iberia, and the first ex-Soviet president himself, Eduard Ševarnadze, known as "the white fox" ever since he supported Gorbachev in the perestroika reforms, loved play with the movements of his regime leaders.

Suffice to remember the long struggle between his "number two", Prime Minister Zurab Žvanija and the "dolphin" Levan Mamaladze, and also Shevarnadze's prophecies when he assured the very young Mikhail Saakashvili: "you will be the president of Georgia".

Ivanišvili appears today as the true heir of Ševarnadze, governing the country with "family" methods since the foundation of the Georgian Dream in 2011, when he declared that if "for unforeseeable reasons" he could not directly take care of his creature, his place would be occupied by his eldest son, Uta Ivanišvili.

The current rotation of executives therefore appears to be a classic operation of downsizing ambitions and equalizing spheres of influence, considering that when one of them reaches a high position, he must remain calm until the first signal from the "godfather".

Today's Georgia is much richer and more varied than the one taken over in 2012, and those in power must be managed with more care than in the past. Also for this reason Ivanišvili returned to assume a public office, to manage with greater authority the team of his vassals, who were beginning to produce bad impressions on the electorate.

Garibashvili's harmony with China's leaders was causing some concern, and Kobakhidze's visit to Beijing with a handful of his parliamentarians, despising every rule of official delegation, seemed like a response to the internal adversary, and coincidentally only two weeks later the two were forced to waltz.

There are those who say that it was the head of the foreign department of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, the astute Liu Jianchao, who suggested to the Georgian godfather to put the family in order.

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See also
The showdown in Tbilisi
09/05/2024 09:49
Georgian Dream wins elections. Country remains divided
04/10/2021 11:39
Tbilisi, the return of the oligarch
02/01/2024 10:00
Tbilisi accelerates anti-oligarchy law
08/11/2022 12:42
The anti-Lgbt crusade of the "Georgian Dream
15/07/2021 09:40


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