Archive for June 9th, 2016


Is Marushevska the political trigger for Saakashvili?

June 9, 2016

For those that follow the chaotic, emotional, passionate, comical, charismatic, often less than accurate, – yet overarching politically linear statements and actions of current Odessa Governor Mikhail Saakashvili, ever since his appointment as Governor just over one year ago, the first question asked was how long he would remain before entering the national political scene upon a national mandate.

Clearly he has not accomplished what he wanted to within the last year – but then a regional Governor is not a President with an overwhelming parliamentary majority as he enjoyed in the early Georgian years.

None of the regional oligarchy and none of the regional organised crime figures have seen so much as serious court cases raised against them – let alone well deserved incarceration.  This however has little to do with Governor Saakashvili, for he is not responsible for the state of the captured and corrupt judicial system.  Neither as a regional Governor has he the clout to dismantle thoroughly entrenched regional elites – including mayors and certain MPs continuing to facilitate the patriarchal cliques and serious and organised criminality, unabashed.

The law of civil service reform has forced the resignation of several of Governor Saakashvili’s appointments.  Others have simply left either due to an inability to work within the “Misha sphere” or have given up and/or moved on/moved back to the private sector.


The local constituency now finds Governor Saakashvili working from a tent on the Odessa – Reni road, which he now believes requires his personal and daily oversight.  Perhaps it does, for it is by far the most significant regional infrastructure project heading into the EU via Romania, although few would consider it necessary to literally set up camp on the roadside to micromanage the work.

Nevertheless, PR is PR even if it perhaps opens the door to satire and derision.

So be it.  As eccentric as it may appear (a reader perhaps cannot escape the “Gaddafi-esque” pictorial similarities) for some voters this will constitute “hands on  leadership” and a political personality assuming personal responsibility.

As no reader anticipates Governor Saakshvili sitting “Gaddafi-like” in a tent on the side of the Odessa – Reni road day in day out, season after season in all weathers until its completion years hence, the question is when and what will end this roadside vigil with political points if not scored, then not lost having embarked upon this course of action?

One of the very few prominent appointees of Governor Saakashvili, and an appointee long in the cross hairs of those with vested interests in the Odessa Port, is Yulia Marushevska.  Indeed upon numerous occasions since the turn of the year, this blog has stated that local vested interests are determined to topple her – ably assisted by Roman Nasirov, head of the State Fiscal Service.

That toppling may well be upon the immediate horizon – August looking likely.  (It would leave only Police Chief Lortkipanidze as a prominent Saakashvili era appointee – so he will be next.)

On several occasions recently Davit Sakvarelidze – former Deputy Prosecutor of Ukraine and Odessa Regional Prosecutor until fired during Prosecutor General Shokin’s final hours in post, prior to being sacked himself – has made stronger noises than usual relating to a political party emerging from the Saakashvili camp fairly soon.

This is not really news, for it has been long anticipated – yet the tone now seems more certain,

The question therefore is timing – and/or perhaps political triggers.

Any successful attempt by Mr Nasirov in removing Yulia Marushevska is surely a very tempting trigger – and a rhetorical launching platform of “They sacked all the unsullied regional reformers I brought here – I need to move up to a national level and fight them there” – or some similar oratory.

As there will not be any forced Verkhovna Rada elections until Spring 2017 at the earliest for legislative reasons, the questions facing Misha Saakashvili are how well does a Marushevska August sacking fit with a political party launch, and also how realistic are the chances of Spring 2017 Verkhovna Rada elections?

As the current Government is now clearly relying upon political parties”owned by”, and parliamentarians “rented by” Ihor Kolomoisky (once again) to insure critical votes are passed, perhaps Mr Saakashvili must also question the longevity and brittleness of the apparent, yet unspoken, “agreement” between President Poroshenko and Ihor Kolomoisky.

(Indeed, as a reader should note “deoligarchisation” a word so often rhetorically spoken by President Poroshenko and Cabinet Ministers as a “policy”, exists neither in the dictionary, nor in Ukrainian politics or economics/markets.)

Likewise, if the sacking of Yulia Marushevska is a possible/probable trigger for a Saakashvili political entity to rapidly and aggressively appear, how confident is President Poroshenko of seeing off the threat of forced early Verkhovna Rada elections?

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