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Georgia: Disillusion with Establishment Fuels Rise of Populism

The Alliance of Patriots party chairman David Tarkhan-Mouravi speaks to supporters in Tbilisi. The right-wing populist party gained seats in the Georgia’s parliament following recent elections, registering a better electoral result than more established parties. (Photo: Alliance of Patriots)

Georgians appear to be growing disillusioned with the country's Western-oriented political elite over its failure to improve the country's standard of living. An indicator of the restless public mood is the growth in popularity of a right-wing populist party, which gained seats in the Georgia’s parliament following recent elections.
 
The Alliance of Patriots party barely cleared the 5-percent representation threshold in the October 8 voting – emerging as one of three parties to gain seats in the new legislature. In doing so, it registered a better electoral result than more established parties.
 
The party draws comparisons to other populist movements around the world, including Donald Trump's campaign in the United States, the National Front in France and the Brexit campaign in the United Kingdom, said George Maghlakelidze, one of the party's leaders.
 

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Joshua Kucera is the Turkey/Caucasus editor at EurasiaNet, and author of The Bug Pit. He is based in Istanbul.

Georgia: Disillusion with Establishment Fuels Rise of Populism

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