Will Nino Burjanadze leave big politics? Can the former opposition leader and one of the most influential Georgian politicians compete with the national hero Bidzina Ivanishvili? Has Burjanadze lost her credibility in the eyes of the public and will she run for the post of the head of the country? The closer the presidential election, the more urgent these issues are.
Political scientist, expert on the Caucasus Mikhail Alexandrov believes that the break in political activities, which Burjanadze took after the parliamentary election, is rather related to the fear of Mikheil Saakashvili than to a desire to draw conclusions about the activities of the "Georgian Dream".
"She is afraid of Saakashvili and is waiting until he is completely out of play. You know that Zhvania was killed, other political opponents of Saakashvili have fled abroad ... Burjanadze has managed to leave the game on time and fade. When Saakashvili leaves his post, she would say all she thinks about this political person".
Burjanadze has a good chance to seize the lead in Saakashvili's "National Movement", said says Alexandrov. This can be a significant breakthrough in her political career, and greatly improve her reputation. "Saakashvili has shown that he was bad, that he had led the country in wrong course. And she is the true bearer of the values of the "National Movement" - such can be her position. Still, she origins from this party. As a result, this can help her get back as a leader of the opposition".
We should not expect that Burjanadze will participate in the upcoming presidential election, says Mikhail Alexandrov. "I do not think that Burjanadze has enough time to prepare for the elections - she has no sufficient support. Rather, she will miss this election. But can take part in the next election, having become the leader of the opposition".
According to the expert, Nino Burjanadze has a real chance to regain a key role in the Georgian politics. "She now has the opportunity to show that she is the carrier of the true values of the "National Movement", that she is the associate of Zhvania, and that they had offered an alternative to Saakashvili's course. This will help gain the popularity, including if the reforms proposed by Ivanishvili do not give effect and people are disappointed".
Georgian political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze believes that Burjanadze's return to politics in not far off. "Burjanadze is alive and well, her office is working actively, as far as I know. She, like many other politicians, has decided to postpone the criticisms of the ruling party during the so-called 100 days to see a clear picture. Now these 100 days have passed, and I think she will return into a political life more actively", he said in an interview to GTimes.
Sakvarelidze also believes that Nino Burjanadze will rival coalition Ivanishvili in the upcoming election. "The rivalry is the natural state of the political parties. Rivalry will be felt in the presidential election and elections to the local government. As far as I know, Burjanadze's party is going to participate in all the upcoming elections".
However, the disadvantage for further political activity of Burjanadze, Ramaz Sakvarelidze says, is the fact that she has undermined her credibility in the eyes of the population. "Most people have a claim to her figure. These claims are associated with the slowness; she has shown next to Saakashvili as the leader of the parliament. This greatly affects her position. Her visit to Russia and meeting with Putin has also affected her rating. This visit was interpreted as a step towards normalization of relations, and by the then government and the majority of the citizens of Georgia - as a compromise to the country, the tanks of which are on the territory of Georgia", says Sakvarelidze.
In turn, Felix Stanevsky, the head of the Caucasus department of the CIS Institute, does not express optimism about the future of Burjanadze Ivanishvili as Ivanishvili's competitor. "Today, Burjanadze has no chance in comparison to the "Georgian Dream". It is unclear how she can compete with a man who has combined a significant part of the opposition and who still shows himself as a pretty sensible politician, despite the fact that, apparently, he has little experience of political struggle. I do not see how Burjanadze can compete with the man who is now the real leader of Georgia".
Stanevsky also believes that we will not see Nino Anzorovna in the list of candidates for the presidency this year. "I do not think that Burjanadze will leave political life. This person is very popular in Georgia, so I do not think that she has exhausted herself as a politician. But I doubt that she will participate in the presidential election as a candidate", says Stanevsky.