Sunday, March 9, 2008

Week 3-9 March: The costs of inefficiency

An efficient management maximizes profits and minimizes costs. Vice versa an inefficient one reaches the opposite outputs. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia had to face in few days their unsuccessfully unresolved problems, both internal and on their borders.

Armenia is still in the grip of a "deafening silence". The media blackout and the other repressive measures to keep the situation under control don’t seem to strengthen the position of the government, internationally less supported than ten days ago. Citizens and members of the diasporas are still expressing their opposition/doubts whether the way chosen to manage the crisis was the most efficient one, and concerns about what’s next. Internet is playing an unprecedented role, as a place of dissemination of information and of constructive confrontation. Remarkable: under such a strict state of emergency, many are not exercising self-censorship, which proves that a part of the civil society has admirable maturity and awareness. Chapeau.

On its borders, the “shuttle diplomacy” for the Karabakh issue, was replaced by the “shuttle accusations” over the breach of the ceasefire, the 5th, that cost lives to sixteen soldiers, according to Azeri sources. Azeris accuse “the Karabakh clan”, as the present Armenian political √©lite is often referred to, to rely on the fear of new dangers to gather more support and to try to distract from internal problems. Government in Yerevan says that Azerbaijan is taking advantage of the moment of weakness of Armenia. Breaches of ceasefire are not so much an exception, and a new one is reported on Saturday night. But so many losses are.

In Azerbaijan, turning to internal issues, a sentence is going to weight on the perception of freedom of speech. Ganimat Zahidov, the Chief Editor of Azadliq, a newspaper of the opposition, has being sentenced to four years for hooliganism and aggression, for an episode that many consider an (efficient?) trap. Allegedly on November the 7th he was approached by a woman who asserted that he insult her. A man intervened. The man, Vusal Hasanov, from the Popular Front, has personal animosity against Ganimat Zahidov. Witnesses assess that the editor just pulled back the assailant, and that he was the one to be struck.
Freedom of holding peaceful demonstrations will be discussed, as well, with the reform of the Electoral Code. A meeting with the Venice Commission should be held on the matter. Seven months to Presidential election, and both Armenia&Georgia are alarming examples.

Georgia is dealing with Russia’s decision to lift sanctions against Abkhazia. The sanctions were decided within the frame of CIS in 1996, and prevent all the member-States from selling weapons to Sukhumi. The Russian Federation invited all CIS to act accordingly, including Georgia. Saakashvili appealed to national solidarity, but his words received a cold welcome from the opposition. His position is also discredited by official statements form Moscow, assessing that he had being informed during his meeting with Putin in February about the Russian decision.

Also the Joint Control Commission (JCC) on South Ossezia is sailing in stormy waters, with Tblisi trying to change its composition to have it more balanced on its own position.
Till now, its negotiations are inefficient, not only with the others three members of the JCC (South Ossezia, North Ossezia and Russia), but also at local political level: the 9th opposition resorted again to street protests.
Gachechiladze declared that the struggle will be end only upon the achievement of opposition’s goals. The issues on which an agreement has not being reached so far are the numbers of deputies to be elected by majoritarian system, 50 now, 75 in the government’s proposal, political detentions, rules to hold free and fair elections. Whoever will win the majority of seats in the next Parliament, will potentially be able to impeach the President (art. 63 of Georgian Constitution). And the opposition has never recognized the legitimacy of President Saakashvili.

1 comment:

Marilisa Lorusso said...

10th of March Sargsyan received official congratulations by V. Putin. The Russian President had waited for the verdict of the Armenian Constitutional Court that upholds election results. Congratulations were followed by an invitation to Moscow.