Saakashvili’s Khvylya Party begins to take shape?October 21, 2016
On 18th July an entry appeared regarding the creation of the Khvylya (Wave) Party which had Odessa Governor Saakashvili’s finger prints all over it (even if he is not formally a member thereof).
Not much has been written about it since. In part due to the fact that Governor Saakashvili has had one eye on recent electoral events in Georgia little has happened overtly.
Those Georgian electoral events now (almost) over and clearly Governor Saakashvili will remain in Ukraine as a result.
Therefore perhaps time presents itself to formulate the party structure both nationally and regionally to prepare Khvylya for any forthcoming elections. Although it will still to be work in progress, something resembling leadership for the Odessa branch of the party seems to be forming.
Perhaps most surprisingly is the apparent defection from Samopomich of Anna Pozdnyakov (currently Secretary for the parliamentary faction).
Among the names floating in the wind, the most obviously leader of the Odessa branch would be the extremely competent and talented Salome Bobrovskaya.
Of the usual suspects, Teimuraz Nishianidze (head of fund/charity “For Odessa”) and Ivan Liptuga (current head of the Department of Tourism) seem likely to be part of the Khvylya regional party set-up.
From civil society/activist roots come Vadim Labas (Oberig), Harvard Grad Vladimir Shemaev, Grigory Kozma, and Alexie Prokopenko (New Generation).
Historical local governance experience arrives via Andrei Karpenko, and of local SME’s, CEO of TIS Alexander Stavinster’s name is rumoured.
Certainly a team capable of building a reasonable regional political party administration – particularly if Ms Bobrovskaya does lead it. However, as the entry of 18th July makes clear “With Misha Saakashvili named atop the Khvylya party list, nationally 10% or more of the constituency may well have voted for it. Without his name atop, what percentage? 3%? 5%? Will the party cross the political threshold to enter the Verkhovna Rada via the proportional representation vote at all?”
There will be a lot of hard work for these people to do even to gain a solid foundation from which to build in the oblast where the unofficial party leader is Governor. That said, none of the alternative political parties are especially appealing either (for one reason or another) and work in progress may yet produce something surprising (albeit not earth moving). Time will tell.