Sunday, January 13, 2008

Week 7-13 January: “Georgia's traditions are more revolutionary”

Thus the Armenian expert Alexander Iskandarian said, mentioning to the potential influence of Georgian Presidential Election on the incoming Armenian one (02/19). The same point of view is shared by the Azeri specialist Razim Agaev, very doubtful that any other South Caucasian republic would be able to raise such a popular participation.

Although results are official and internationally recognized, the opposition kept its supporters mobilized for the entire week, from the hunger strike to today’s peaceful rally, with over 100 000 people expected by the joined opposition parties. They claim results to be fraudulent. The CEC confirmed Saakašvili to be the winner, with 53.47% (1 060 042 votes), followed by Gachechiladze 25.69% (509 234). Results that do not match those given by other independent observers, such as the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (Saakašvili 50,8%, margin of error +/- 2,2%). Abroad, only Russia is supporting opposition’s claim, but it seems very isolated. Even the CIS observation mission recognised the elections to be in line with international standards. Russian observers, by the way, were not allowed in the CIS mission by Georgian authorities.
At present, an exposition of hundreds falsified protocols has been opened in Tbilisi, dedicated to the so called “Georgia-American lies, in honour of Matthew Bryza”, the American Congressman who is reported to have described elections as democratic (on Russian tv, 01/13 12:09).

The results of the plebiscites:
For North-Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) integration: 72.5%
For holding Parliamentary Elections in the Spring of 2008: 69.8%
Protesters are not, indeed, against the main line of the present President, his pro-Western attitude, but accuse him to be extremely authoritarian, close to dictatorship. To ease his position, Saakašvili opened the door of the new Government to opposition. Being Georgia, since the Rose Revolution, a semi-presidential republic, potentially the role played by the Government in leading the country is a key one, but till now the strictly presidential heritage prevailed.
Even if the mediation works, and opposition agrees to enter the Government, will this solve the problem of the extremely polarized political life, and enable the President to gain the confidence of Georgian citizens again?

It seems that November’s rallies, with over 600 wounded, had already entered in the collective memory as another epic moment in Georgia’s fight for freedom… or so are self – represented by those who had joined the protests … (