Monday, March 26, 2012

Week 19-25 March: What springs in spring

A warm, not really hot, weekend in Georgian breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
And it's not because of the blooming spring. It was the weekend of contemporary elections. Albeit for different reasons.

In South Ossetia, although this time the vote was considered legitimate, no new president's name sprang from the ballots. It should be remember that it's since November that South Ossetia is trying to elect its president.
Head of the delegation of the Russian Public Chamber Maxim Grigoryev, while monitoring the process, assessed that the elections passed in the calm atmosphere.

Well, it would be surprising if five months after the mobilitation, with their first preference ignored, the few people who live in South Ossetia would still feel excited about the vote.
Anyway, no candidate reached the 50%+1, so there's going to be a runoff between the most voted two: Leonid Tibilov (42.48%) and David Sanakoyev (24.58%). The first one has a KGB background, the second a Human Rights one.

Still, it's hardly predictable that it would make any difference who, on the 7th or 8th of April, will eventually become the president.
This second round should be considered the peak of lowering expectations for South Ossetian political life.
Moreover, none of the two was suggesting something really shaking. Just Stanislav Kochiyev, the leader of the South Ossetian Communist Party, had in his program the re-unification with North Ossetia (which means annexation to Russia) but he scored just 5.26%.

At least, this sounds like a reasonable projection: so called independence twinned by a growing dependence from Russia.
But it's just a projection. After such troubled elections, it's hazardous to make forecasts.
So was hard to forecast the bad performance of political parties in Abkhazia.

Electors gave preference to independent candidates [11/13] in the first round, and confirmed the trend [15/20] in the second.
Being independent doesn't necessary mean being anti-government. So, it's not necessary a vote of protest. But it's definitely a sign that political parties in the region cannot rely on a stable, loyal electoral base.
A bad spring surprise for local parties.

A good confirmation, not as an unpredictable surprise, came from Armenia.
After some speculations, it's official: Armenian delegation will participate in the work of Euronest plenary session to be held in Baku on April 1-4.
Since Armenia withdrew its participation from Eurovision, some members of the delegation started to voice their concerns about security warrants.
So, through EU mediation, a little step has been taken, and Armenian politicians will visit a hopefully warm, spring Baku.

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