Georgian Dream

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Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia
ქართული ოცნება – დემოკრატიული საქართველო
Chairperson Bidzina Ivanishvili
Founder Bidzina Ivanishvili
Founded April 21, 2012; 6 years ago (2012-04-21)
Headquarters Tbilisi, Georgia
Ideology Big tent[1]
Pro-Europeanism
Factions:
Social conservatism[2]
Liberalism[3]
Social democracy
Political position de jure (self-described):
Centre-left[4]
de facto:
Big tent
European affiliation Party of European Socialists (observer)
International affiliation Progressive Alliance[5]
Colours           Blue, amber
Slogan "თავისუფლება, სწრაფი განვითარება, კეთილდღეობა" (Freedom, Rapid Development, Welfare)
Seats in Parliament
97 / 150
[6]
Website
41.ge

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.[7] It is the leading party of the six-party Georgian Dream political coalition which won the 2012 parliamentary election. The political party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia currently has 115 seats in the 150-seat Georgian parliament.

History[edit]

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.[8][9]

The party successfully challenged the ruling United National Movement (UMN) in the 2012 parliamentary election, pledging to increase welfare spending and pursue a more pragmatic foreign policy with Russia.[8] It won this election in coalition with six other opposition parties, with 54.97% of the vote, being allotted 85 seats in parliament.[7] The governing UMN took 40.34%. President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded that his party lost, and pledged to support the constitutional process of forming a new government.[10]

In April 2017 senior MP Gedevan Popkhadze threatened to quit the party for its endorsement of an opposition-nominated candidate to the supervisory board of the Georgian Public Broadcaster.[11] Popkhadze criticized the candidate on account of her anti-clerical activism. 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.[12]

In August 2018 Chairman of the Georgian Parliament Irakli Kobakhidze announced that the party will nominate no candidate for 2018 presidential elections. Instead it is supporting the independent candidate Salome Zurabishvili.

Ideology[edit]

Like many parties of power, the Georgian Dream lacks a clear ideology. In contrast to the party's self-identification as centre-left and social democratic it is described as "ideologically amorphous" by various left-wing activists.[13] An article published by the Heinrich Böll Foundation 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.’"[14]

The party's position on social and cultural issues is vague and divided. Under their supermajority, the consititution was amended to define marriage solely as "a union between a woman and a man for the purpose of creating a family".[15] At the same time the party also passed legislation banning discrimination against LGBT individuals.

The Georgian Dream's economic program is the combination of the existing free market model with a comprehensive "centre-left" safety net. The most fundamental reform passed by the government since 2012 has been in the healthcare system.[16]

Georgian Dream coalition[edit]

Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party is the leading member of the Georgian Dream Coalition, which initially included six political parties of diverse ideological orientations.[17][18] The coalition was made up of pro-market and pro-western liberals, radical nationalists with xenophobic rhetoric, and former representatives of the Shevardnadze administration who were disempowered during the Rose Revolution of 2003.[19] The name of the alliance is inspired by a rap song by Ivanishvili's son Bera.[20][21]

Constituent parties[edit]

Former constituent parties[edit]

Electoral performance[edit]

Election Leader Votes % Seats +/– Position Government
2012 Bidzina Ivanishvili 1,184,612 54.97
85 / 150
Increase 85 Increase 1st Yes
2016 Giorgi Kvirikashvili 857,394 48.65
115 / 150
Increase 30 Steady 1st Yes

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ditrych, Ondrej (July 2013). "The Georgian succession" (PDF). European Union Institute for Security Studies. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on 22 February 2016. ...GD as a catch-all movement...
  2. ^ http://carnegieeurope.eu/strategiceurope/64926
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "About The Party". 41.ge. Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  5. ^ http://progressive-alliance.info/2810-2/
  6. ^ Key Facts and Procedures on Govt No-Confidence Vote, Sought by UNM
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ a b Ivanishvili's Political Party Launched. Civil Georgia. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  9. ^ Shevchenko hangs up boots for politics[permanent dead link], AFP (28 July 2012)
  10. ^ Barry, Ellen (2012-10-02). "Georgia's President Concedes Defeat in Parliamentary Election". Georgia (Georgian Republic): NYTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-12-07.
  11. ^ "Senior MP Ponders Quitting Georgian Dream". Civil.Ge. civil.ge. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  12. ^ DFWatch Staff (Apr 26, 2018). "Ivanishvili to make political comeback, will head Georgia's ruling GD". Democracy and Freedom Watch. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  13. ^ Pertaia, Luka (2017-02-16). "Are Georgia's disparate left-wing protesters consolidating into a coherent political force?". oc-media.org. Georgia (Georgian Republic).
  14. ^ Lortkipanidze, Levan. "Parliamentary Elections in Georgia". ge.boell.org. Heinrich Böll Foundation. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  15. ^ Georgia's Ruling Party 'Supermajority' Passes Unilateral Constitutional Reform
  16. ^ "The First 100 Days of the Georgian Dream Government: A Reality Check". Georgian Institute of Politics. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 7 June 2018.
  17. ^ "Georgia's election: Pain and grief in Georgia", The Economist, 29 September 2012
  18. ^ de Waal, Thomas (11 September 2012), A Crucial Election in Georgia, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  19. ^ de Waal, Thomas (26 September 2012), "Georgia Holds Its Breath", Foreign Policy
  20. ^ "Topic Galleries". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2012-12-07.[permanent dead link]
  21. ^ "Georgia On Brink: Odd Parliamentary Election Leads To Angst Over Results". Ibtimes.com. Retrieved 2012-12-07.

External links[edit]