Power of the Powerless? The Role of Small Parties in Georgian Politics

Nino Samkharadze[1]

There is a prevalent view in Georgia that the two major parties – the Georgian Dream and the United National Movement – dictate the political forecast in the country. Regardless, the decision of the small parties to sign Michel’s document and enter parliament showed that during the evaluation of the Georgian political agenda, the factor of small parties in Georgian political processes might be crucial from an electoral standpoint. The biggest and most experienced oppositional party, the United National Movement, is not among the parliamentary actors in the 10th convocation parliament. As it was thought during the parliamentary boycott (which lasted for several months), relatively small opposition parties were united under the umbrella of the UNM. The decision of some parties to enter Parliament made it clear for the public that they are able to act independently from the UNM on the political arena whenever they deem it necessary. Despite the fact that in terms of the ultimate objectives the opposition actors more or less maintain a unified position, at this stage small parties have chosen a different mechanism of battle, through which in some sense they are able to influence the political agenda of the governing party as well as the leading opposition parties. In this context what power small parties in Georgian politics actually have should be examined, and why their activity is important in the post-crisis period.

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