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Campaign “Unmask Majoritarian MPs” in Gori


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

“Let us unmask feudal majoritarian MPs,” the leader of the Public Movement Aleko Elisashvili started the campaign against those majoritarian MPs, who did not support the draft law to move to the proportional election system and rejected the constitutional amendments.

In the frame of the campaign, on November 28, Aleko Elisashvili, together with his team, arrived in Gori and held protest rally against the so-called “disobedient” majoritarian MPs from the city of Gori and Gori municipality – Ioseb Makrakhidze and Temur Khubuluri. They symbolically selected the scene for the demonstration – in Gori market – Georgia 21st, in which MP Ioseb Makrakhidze’s family owns 33%. In 2018, the Gori municipality city hall assigned the several hundred square meters of the land, one square meter for 2 GEL, to Makrakhidze under the lease agreement until 2040. Aleko Elisashvili said it is one of the clear examples how the majoritarian MPs became feudal in their municipalities. 

“For this reason the government does not want to change the majoritarian system; it is mutual interest – at the expense of the majoritarian MPs, the Georgian Dream misappropriates all branches of the government, majoritarian MPs act as feudals in the regions and they act like slaves of the government. MP Ioseb Makrakhidze is one of the evident examples, who received one square of land for 2 GEL from the government and wins tens million GEL tender competitions for his and his wife’s companies. They pay 2 GEL per square of land to the budget annually while they rent out the same one square land to the traders for 60-120 GEL per month,” Elisashvili said. 

The demonstration of the Public Movement did not finish without noise and conflict in Gori. The members of the municipal assembly – Misha Goginashvili and Merab Melanashvili from the ruling party, arrived at the market. Besides them, the members of the Culture and Tourism Center of the Gori municipality city hall were there too. The assembly members said that they accidentally visited the market. As for the employees of the local non-profit legal entity, who opposed the leader of the Public Movement, they said Aleko Elisashvili does not have right to hold demonstration against the Georgian Dream’s MPs because he is associated with the United National Movement; however, Aleko Elisashvili responded that when Ioseb Makrakhidze was funding the UNM, when the latter was in government, he was fighting against them too. 

Elisashvili said the government uses administrative resource to oppose the opponents. The employees of the local non-profit legal entity were brought to the protest demonstration by mini-buse during working hours and started provocation against protesters. 

“The same happened here like in Bodbiskhevi village. The municipal assembly members, who are also strolling around here, encouraged the employees of the local entities to oppose us. Ordinary citizens shared our positions. If there is any incident and conflict, it was provoked by the employees of the government institutions,” Elisashvili said. 

Why the employees of the local non-profit legal entity of the Gori municipality city hall were at the demonstration during working hours? The head of the Tourism and Culture Agency of the city hall Gela Kapanadze said that everybody went their voluntarily and they took one-day day-off for that. 

“I confirm that the employees of my agency really were in the market when Elisashvili was holding the action. All of them had asked for a vacation – some of them write vacation application one day before and others on that day. I cannot refuse anybody to take a vacation,” Gela Kapanadze said. 

Elisashvili said the proportional election system could resolve all major problems in the country. 

“We want the proportional elections to combat the government to use the people working in government institutions for their narrow political goals. The people, who opposed us today, less likely wanted to have a quarrel in bad weather but they received instructions; it is the system, which shall be changed. The system sends people out in bad weather, makes the country poor but majoritarian MPs get richer,” the leader of the Public Movement said.

Gela Kapanadze, who is actively engaged in the activities of the local organization of Georgian Dream, cannot ignore the message box of the political party and said that the population is least interested whether 2020 parliamentary elections will be proportional or mixed.

“By rejecting the proportional system, one part of the population may not be happy, but it is reality that the population in our municipality does not care about the system of 2020 parliamentary elections. They are worried about their daily problems, hardship and of course the government shall work on the solution of these problems and intensify its work in this direction. These people do not care about the form of the elections and it is evident from the protest demonstrations too, because number of people participating in it is reducing,” Gela Kapanadze said. 

The government decided to hold the 2020 parliamentary elections with proportional system after the dispersal of 20-21 June demonstration, after the leader of the ruling party Bidzina Ivanishvili reacted to the requests of the demonstrators and announced that the government was ready to satisfy the request of the society. After this promise, the demonstrations stopped in the Rustaveli Avenue but resumed few months later after the GD did not keep its promise and one part of the majoritarian MPs did not support the proportional system. 

“Change the unfair election system,” the demonstrations under this slogan still continue in Tbilisi. After the constitutional amendments did not succeed, opposition parties request to move to the German model of the election system but the government does not agree claiming that the German model comes in conflict with the Constitution of Georgia. 

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