An arm wrestling match can last from few seconds to pretty long. And the end is often unpredictable.
The match between the nine opposition parties and the ruling ones in Georgia is shifting from revolution to reforms. Seven weeks passed from the Presidential Elections, and appeals to hunger strikes and rallies leave place to a more moderate rhetoric. Gachechiladze said that he wants – as well - to present the opposition to foreign observers as a real alternative to the present Government, not just as a radical force, but as a responsible, serious and capable of dialogue one. At the same time, positions are kept firm on key demands: release of political prisoners; a new general director of Public TV; replacement of the chairman of the Central Election Commission.
The match between Levon Ter-Petrosyan and the ruling government is taking shape right now. The Presidential election of 19th sanctioned the victory of the front-runner Serž Sargsyan at the first round (53%) and left Ter-Petrosyan ranked second, with his contested 21%. Then rallies started, and the swing of the numbers of participants. It’s hard to say that in the last 10 years Ter-Petrosyan made the general public regret too much that he was no longer the President, and that a overwhelming majority of population is ready to follow him in his “struggle till the end”. Still something is moving, may be in the army, where Ter-Petrosyan claimed to have relevant support. Yesterday seven Generals and eight Colonels left the Organization Yerkrapah, expressing dislike about the political role played by the organization in the election.
Those who backed his run stand by him, but it’s hard to foresee, with international recognition of acceptably free and fair elections, if such a strategy can lead to a stroke, as he seems to expect.
Another big match, that concerns the Caucasus a lot, is the one between the concepts of Nation-State and the one of Ethnic-State that is emerging after the recognition of Kosovo’s independence.
In Abkhazia and South Ossetia there are early polls for Russian Presidential Elections, and the leaders of the two provinces, together with Transdniestria should meet soon to decide what’s going to be their next step to be recognized as fully flagged independent states, notwithstanding the official declarations of Tbilisi that Kosova will not be recognized by Georgia.
The 21st Saakashvili and Putin met, and apparently the first received guarantees that Russia will not recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, thus preventing what can be described not only as the Kosovo precedent but as the Kosovo syndrome from spreading.
In the same days Ilham Aliyev was in Moscow, where he was proclaimed honorary Professor of the MGU, Moscow State University Lomonosov, for his activity in strengthening the relations between Russia and Azerbaijan. Still, the news of the official invitation to the Russian Duma of a delegation of the NK Government in March for the session about conflict-solution in the CIS space was not welcomed at all by the Azeri public opinion. Indeed, the syndrome is spreading, at least as a fear.