Georgian Dream

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Georgian Dream –
Democratic Georgia

ქართული ოცნება – დემოკრატიული საქართველო
ChairpersonBidzina Ivanishvili
Secretary-GeneralKakha Kaladze
political secretaryIrakli Gharibashvili
executive secretaryIrakli Kobakhidze
parliamentary leaderMamuka Mdinaradze
FounderBidzina Ivanishvili
FoundedApril 21, 2012; 7 years ago (2012-04-21)
HeadquartersTbilisi, Georgia
IdeologySocial democracy (self-described)
Populism
Pro-Europeanism[1]
Factions:
Liberalism[2]
Conservatism
Political positionBig tent (de facto)
Centre to centre-right (de facto)
Centre-left (self-described)[3]
European affiliationParty of European Socialists (observer)
International affiliationProgressive Alliance[4]
Colours          Blue, amber
Slogan"თავისუფლება, სწრაფი განვითარება, კეთილდღეობა" (Freedom, Rapid Development, Welfare)
Parliament
89 / 150
Cabinet of Georgia
10 / 11
Tbilisi Sakrebulo
38 / 50
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.[5] 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 106 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.[6][7]

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.[6] It won this election in coalition with six other opposition parties, with 54.97% of the vote, being allotted 85 seats in parliament.[5] 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.[8]

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.[9] Popkhadze criticized the candidate 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.[10]

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.

During the 2019 Georgian protests the party was accused of being corrupt and subservient to Russian interests.[11][12][13][14]

Ideology[edit]

Like many parties of power the 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] Yet 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]

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[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.[21][22] 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.[23] The name of the alliance is inspired by a rap song by Ivanishvili's son Bera.[24][25]

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
new 1st Yes
2016 Giorgi Kvirikashvili 857,394 48.65
115 / 150
Increase 30 Steady 1st Yes

Presidential[edit]

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)
2018 Salome Zurabishvili 615,572 38.64 (#1) 1,147,687 59.52 (#1)

Presidents of Georgia from Georgian Dream[edit]

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

Prime Ministers of Georgia from Georgian Dream[edit]

Name From To
Bidzina Ivanishvili 25 October 2012 20 November 2013
Irakli Garibashvili 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 incumbent

Leadership[edit]

Party chairmen[edit]

References[edit]

  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. ^ "About The Party". 41.ge. Georgian Dream - Democratic Georgia. Retrieved 25 January 2018.
  4. ^ http://progressive-alliance.info/2810-2/
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ a b Ivanishvili's Political Party Launched. Civil Georgia. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  7. ^ Shevchenko hangs up boots for politics[permanent dead link], AFP (28 July 2012)
  8. ^ Barry, Ellen (2 October 2012). "Georgia's President Concedes Defeat in Parliamentary Election". Georgia (Georgian Republic): NYTimes.com. Retrieved 7 December 2012.
  9. ^ "Senior MP Ponders Quitting Georgian Dream". Civil.Ge. civil.ge. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  10. ^ DFWatch Staff (26 April 2018). "Ivanishvili to make political comeback, will head Georgia's ruling GD". Democracy and Freedom Watch. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  11. ^ Genin, Aaron (25 July 2019). "Georgian Protests: Tbilis's Two-Sided Conflict". The California Review. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Economist's double life on the frontline of Georgia's street protests". Reuters. 23 July 2019. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  13. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Georgia: Ruling party promises reforms to calm unrest | DW | 25.06.2019". DW.COM. Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Russia threatens more economic pain in standoff with Georgia". Reuters. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 26 July 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.org. 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". Ibtimes.com. Retrieved 7 December 2012.

External links[edit]