Sunday, April 6, 2008

Week 31 March – 6 April: A cold spring

NATO&democratization, or just democratization… a cold spring in South Caucasus.

Saakashvili, however triumphantly, came back to Tbilisi from Bucharest without having been able to put his own signature on the MAP agreement. Decision postponed to December, allegedly, with, right now, only an unprecedented declaration about “welcome of Ukraine’s and Georgia’s Euro Atlantic aspirations”. If it’s just a matter of time, it will take eight months more to realize the so called “geo-political revolution”, as Saakashvili describes it. If not, the strength of not NATO members – Russia in particular - on its politics should be reconsidered. Meanwhile, apparently, fairness and freedom of elections in Georgia are supposed to be two of the requisites to be considered for its accession. Putin contested the relevance of NATO in democratization processes, quoting the case of Ukraine and Estonia.
About elections, the new system of single mandate constituencies is already favouring parties rather than coalitions, as a single party faces less difficulty in expressing a candidature. The Republican Party presented 10 candidates of its list. Time for submission will expire the 21st, and the eight opposition parties have to negotiate on 75 names, plus the proportional list.

Ilham Aliyev joined the Summit in Bucharest as well. Azeri army is in Iraq, and a member of ISAF. But the relations of the country with NATO are on a different level than Georgia’s, and are not likely to change, as long as its links with Russia are so entangling.

Armenia has not relieved yet by the government’s turn of the screw. From many sides, local and international, it was invited not to turn stabilization into repression, to permit an independent investigation on the events of March 1st, to negotiate with the opposition. One option could be, for example, to create a Parliamentary Committee for what happened (art. 73 § 3 Constitution RoA: “If necessary and in conformity with the procedure stipulated in the Law on Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly ad hoc committees may be established for the preliminary review of special draft laws or for submission of conclusions and reports on special issues, events and facts to the National Assembly”). Since the government enjoys an overwhelming majority, and for the Committee to be representative also of the part of opposition which is not sitting in the National Assembly, NGOs or other organizations could be involved in the work of the Committee as amici curiae, a practice already well established in the international legal system.

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