Georgian political rivalry gets heated on Facebook

May 17, 2012
One Comment

A rivalry has broken out on Facebook between the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili, and Bidzina Ivanishvili, a billionaire and opposition leader.

And now the competition has gotten quite fierce. For example, some Georgian media outlets have reported that teachers and students at schools and people working at government entities were compelled to press the like button on the president’s Facebook page. And the number of likes on Ivanishvili’s  Facebook page rose dramatically in a single day. The following video shows the growth of  followers for Ivanishvili’s fan page. The number of likes went from 190,000 to 201,000 over the period of several hours, which has raised some questions because it is supposed to be impossible to reach that quantity without a special application.

According to the website, which monitors the number of likes on Facebook for Georgian pages, the most popular person (500,000 likes) for the last nine months has been Bera, a rapper and the son of Ivanishvili (who has 280,00 likes). The current president Saakashvili is the seventh with more than 180,000 followers.

The Facebook competition between these two people is seen as sort of a warm-up exercise before the parliamentary elections, which will be held next autumn. Presidential elections that will be at the beginning of next year.

About the Author

Elza Ketsbaia

Elza Ketsbaia has served as Transition’s country manager for Georgia for three years. She is an experienced journalist with stints in broadcast journalism at Radio Ucnobi and the Georgian Public Broadcaster. She holds a master’s degree from the Caucasus School of Journalism and Media Management.
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