Inter-party Negotiations in a Time of Crisis: What Hinders an Effective Dialogue?

An Unstable Political Environment: Why Political Parties Fail at Forming a Constructive Dialogue

National and international reports following the 2020 Parliamentary elections in Georgia indicate that the lack of healthy, rules-based competition among political parties remains a problem. While communicating with each other and their electorate, political party representatives often use language that is openly aggressive, and rhetoric which is both uncompromising and damaging to healthy competition. Based on interviews conducted by GIP under the framework of the project, “Monitoring of the Code of Conduct for Political Parties”, we can analyze how experts and political party representatives perceive the importance of certain characteristics of Georgia’s political impasse.

The analysis revealed that there is a significant difference between the vision and motivation of the ruling party and that of the united opposition, as well as between the bigger and smaller parties. As each political actor has their own political objectives, they operate in different political contexts. Therefore, their ideas about a healthy political environment are often quite contrasting. According to some respondents, the resources of the ruling party, both in terms of agenda setting, and its administrative execution, significantly exceeds the resources of opposition parties. As such, the ruling party has a greater responsibility in the formation of a healthy political environment. Additionally, the ongoing Covid-19 crisis makes it more difficult for opposition parties to replace the incumbent government. Consequently, effective inter-party cooperation, as well as an active, clearly confrontational opposition to the ruling party has become a priority. Based on interviews conducted, there are three main factors which can be seen as obstacles to a long-term stable dialogue: the personalization of politics, the lack of issue-based political communication, and misperception of the electorate’s needs.

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