Plans in Georgia to review alleged “shortcomings of justice” dating back to when President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement controlled parliament could lead to a fresh fracas in this developing democracy over the separation of powers among the various branches of government.
Where should the line be drawn between a government official’s personal wealth and his or her public responsibilities? Amidst promises to use his own cash to stimulate business investment, compensate storm victims and prop up the state budget, billionaire Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili is making any distinction ever blurrier.
In recent months, criticism has persisted that Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s government is allowing politics, rather than evidence, to guide criminal prosecutions of old foes. A curious case against a 19-year-old computer programmer, Vasil Jamalashvili, helps illustrate how that criticism has taken root.
Under President Mikheil Saakashvli, schools in Georgia made progress in teaching English and cracking down on bribery. Now, following Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s rise to power, the Georgian government is taking on a new challenge in reforming the education system – overhauling the state-run school security service known as the “mandaturebi.”
Georgia took a quantum leap forward in its democratization process when President Mikheil Saakashvili provided for a smooth transfer of power following his party’s defeat at the ballot box in early October.