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Georgian Dream

Georgian Dream –
Democratic Georgia

ქართული ოცნება –
დემოკრატიული საქართველო
ChairpersonIrakli Kobakhidze
Secretary-GeneralKakha Kaladze
Deputy ChairmanVasil Maghlaperidze
Executive SecretaryMamuka Mdinaradze
Political SecretaryIrakli Gharibashvili
Regional SecretaryDimitri Samkharadze
Relations with Political Parties SecretaryGia Volski
FounderBidzina Ivanishvili
Founded21 April 2012; 9 years ago (2012-04-21)
HeadquartersTbilisi, Georgia
Ideology
Pro-Europeanism[1]
Social democracy
Third Way
Factions:
Social liberalism[2]
Conservatism
Political positionCentre to centre-left
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (observer)
International affiliationProgressive Alliance[3]
Colours
Sloganთავისუფლება, სწრაფი განვითარება, კეთილდღეობა ("Freedom, Rapid Development, Welfare")
Seats In Parliament
84 / 150
Cabinet of Georgia
10 / 12
Seats In Supreme Council of Adjara
14 / 21
Seats In Tbilisi City Assembly
38 / 50
Seats In Kutaisi City Assembly
19 / 25
Seats In Batumi City Assembly
19 / 25
Website
gd.ge?lang=en

Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia (Georgian: ქართული ოცნება – დემოკრატიული საქართველო, Kartuli ocneba – Demok’rat’iuli Sakartvelo) is the governing party of Georgia. The party was established on 19 April 2012 by the billionaire businessman and politician Bidzina Ivanishvili.[4] It was the leading party of the six-party Georgian Dream political coalition which won the 2012 parliamentary election.

The party currently holds 90 seats in the 150-seat Georgian parliament.

History

The party evolved from the public movement Georgian Dream, launched by Ivanishvili as a platform for his political activities in December 2011. Since Ivanishvili was not a Georgian citizen at the moment of the party's inaugural session, the lawyer Manana Kobakhidze was elected as an interim, nominal chairman of the Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia. The party also includes several notable Georgians such as the politician Sozar Subari, former diplomat Tedo Japaridze, chess grandmaster Zurab Azmaiparashvili, security commentator Irakli Sesiashvili, writer Guram Odisharia and famed footballer Kakha Kaladze.[5][6]

The party successfully challenged the ruling United National Movement (UNM) in the 2012 parliamentary election, pledging to increase welfare spending and pursue a more pragmatic foreign policy with Russia.[5] It won this election in coalition with six other opposition parties, with 54.97% of the vote, being allotted 85 seats in parliament.[4] The governing UNM took 40.34%. President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded that his party lost, and pledged to support the constitutional process of forming a new government.[7]

In April 2018 senior MP Gedevan Popkhadze threatened to quit the party for its endorsement of an opposition-nominated candidate, journalist Ninia Kakabadze to the supervisory board of the Georgian Public Broadcaster.[8] Popkhadze criticized Kakabadze for being anti-religious. The incident is seen as an internal conflict between long-time GD members which joined the party while it was in opposition and a new group of members who were installed in high positions prior to the 2016 parliamentary elections. The news agency Democracy and Freedom Watch related the incident to the return of Bidzina Ivanishvili as chairman of the party later that month, which furthermore was perceived as a move to maintain the unity of the coalition.[9]

In August 2018, Chairman of the Georgian Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze announced that the party would not nominate a candidate for the 2018 presidential elections. Instead it would support the independent candidate Salome Zourabichvili.

During the 2019 Georgian protests the party was accused of being corrupt and subservient to Russian interests.[10][11][12][13] In late 2019 Facebook publicly announced that it removed from Facebook and Instagram a number of accounts and pages engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior that sought to promote the Georgian Dream government.[14] The protests continue in 2020.

Ideology

Like many parties of power, Georgian Dream lacks a clear ideology. The reasons were given for this range from the party's history as an all-encompassing front of people opposed to the UNM government to the standard opportunism associated with such parties. Levan Lortkipanidze, a political science student at Tbilisi State University, described it as "a party of nomenclature, public servants, 'intelligentsia', medium and large businessmen, and technocrats – a party, which is held together through loyalty to its charismatic leader and the opposition to the government of the 'Rose Revolution.'"[15] In addition, it has been reported that left-wing activists view the party as "ideologically amorphous" in contrast to the party's own self-identification with the left itself.[16]

In 2017 the party's majority amended the constitution to define marriage as "a union between a woman and a man for the purpose of creating a family".[17] However, instead of citing conservative moral concerns, the party openly explained the amendment as a way to defang groups "stirring up homophobic and anti-Western sentiment."[18] During its first government, the party passed legislation against discrimination toward LGBT individuals, making Georgia the most LGBT-friendly country in the South Caucasus de jure.[19]

The party seeks to take a stance of balancing further European integration with maintaining ties with Russia.

According to the Georgian Institute of Politics, Georgian Dream's economic policy comprises a combination of the pre-existing free market model, created by their predecessors, with a comprehensive "centre-left" safety net.[20]

Georgian Dream coalition

Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia was the leading member of the Georgian Dream Coalition, which initially included six political parties of diverse ideological orientations.[21][22] The coalition was made up of parties ranging from pro-market and pro-western liberals to radical nationalists with xenophobic rhetoric, and former representatives of the Shevardnadze administration who were disempowered during the Rose Revolution of 2003.[23] The name of the alliance is inspired by a rap song by Ivanishvili's son Bera.[24][25]

Former constituent parties

Electoral performance

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2012 Bidzina Ivanishvili 1,184,612 54.97
85 / 150
new 1st Government
2016 Giorgi Kvirikashvili 857,394 48.65
115 / 150
Increase 30 Steady 1st Government
2020 Giorgi Gakharia[a] 928,004 48.22
90 / 150
Decrease 25 Steady 1st Government

Presidential

Election year Candidate 1st round 2nd round
# of overall votes % of overall vote # of overall votes % of overall vote
2013 Giorgi Margvelashvili 1,012,569 62.12 (#1) N/A N/A
2018 Salome Zurabishvili 615,572 38.64 (#1) 1,147,687 59.52 (#1)

Presidents of Georgia from Georgian Dream

Name From To
Giorgi Margvelashvili 17 November 2013 16 December 2018
Salome Zurabishvili 16 December 2018 incumbent

Prime Ministers of Georgia from Georgian Dream

Name From To
Bidzina Ivanishvili 25 October 2012 20 November 2013
Irakli Gharibashvili 20 November 2013 30 December 2015
Giorgi Kvirikashvili 30 December 2015 13 June 2018
Mamuka Bakhtadze 20 June 2018 2 September 2019
Giorgi Gakharia 8 September 2019 18 February 2021
Irakli Gharibashvili 22 February 2021 incumbent

Leadership

Party chairs

Notelist

  1. ^ Only the Prime Ministerial Candidate, Bidzina Ivanishvili serving as the party chairman

References

  1. ^ "Georgia: political parties and the EU" (PDF). European Parliamentary Research Service.
  2. ^ Kakachia, Kornely (2017). The First 100 Days of The Georgian Dream Government: A Reality Check (PDF). Tbilisi, Georgia: Georgian Institute of Politics. One should not forget that, despite having a strong liberal wing, GD views itself as a center-left party and is an observer member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) in the European Parliament.
  3. ^ http://progressive-alliance.info/2810-2/
  4. ^ a b Stephen Jones (2015). "Preface to the Paperback Edition". Georgia: A Political History Since Independence. I.B.Tauris. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-78453-085-3.
  5. ^ a b Ivanishvili's Political Party Launched. Civil Georgia. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  6. ^ Shevchenko hangs up boots for politics[permanent dead link], AFP (28 July 2012)
  7. ^ Barry, Ellen (2 October 2012). "Georgia's President Concedes Defeat in Parliamentary Election". The New York Times. Georgia (Georgian Republic). Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Senior MP Ponders Quitting Georgian Dream". Civil.Ge. civil.ge. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  9. ^ DFWatch Staff (26 April 2018). "Ivanishvili to make political comeback, will head Georgia's ruling GD". Democracy and Freedom Watch. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  10. ^ Genin, Aaron (25 July 2019). "Georgian Protests: Tbilis's Two-Sided Conflict". The California Review. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Economist's double life on the frontline of Georgia's street protests". Reuters. 23 July 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Georgia: Ruling party promises reforms to calm unrest | DW | 25.06.2019". DW.COM. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Russia threatens more economic pain in standoff with Georgia". Reuters. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Removing Coordinated Inauthentic Behavior from Georgia, Vietnam and the US". about.fb.com. 20 December 2019.
  15. ^ Lortkipanidze, Levan. "Parliamentary Elections in Georgia". ge.boell.org. Heinrich Böll Foundation. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  16. ^ Pertaia, Luka (16 February 2017). "Are Georgia's disparate left-wing protesters consolidating into a coherent political force?". OC Media. Georgia (Georgian Republic).
  17. ^ Georgia's Ruling Party 'Supermajority' Passes Unilateral Constitutional Reform
  18. ^ "Georgian dream doubles down on same-sex marriage ban". Aravot. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 25 June 2017. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  19. ^ Jalagania, Lika (2016). "Legal Situation of LGBTI Persons in Georgia" (PDF). Heinrich Boell Foundation. Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center.
  20. ^ "The First 100 Days of the Georgian Dream Government: A Reality Check". Georgian Institute of Politics. 22 February 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  21. ^ "Georgia's election: Pain and grief in Georgia", The Economist, 29 September 2012
  22. ^ de Waal, Thomas (11 September 2012), A Crucial Election in Georgia, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  23. ^ de Waal, Thomas (26 September 2012), "Georgia Holds Its Breath", Foreign Policy, archived from the original on 10 November 2013, retrieved 7 March 2017
  24. ^ "Topic Galleries". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 7 December 2012.[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ "Georgia on Brink: Odd Parliamentary Election Leads To Angst Over Results". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 7 December 2012.

External links


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