For Georgia, the signing of an association agreement marks a major stride toward the European Union. But the pact should not be construed as an insurance policy against continued meddling by Moscow, experts say.
The Georgian Dream coalition, which controls the parliament in Georgia, seems to be playing fast and loose with parliamentary procedure, at least when it comes to its efforts to relocate the legislature.
Georgia’s Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili claims his intended resignation later this month will help break the South Caucasus country’s dependence on strong political personalities. Yet, even if he gives up his formal title, political analysts in Tbilisi expect Ivanishvili to remain the power behind the Georgian government.
Outgoing Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s role as a state builder, a revolutionary, and a domineering leader determined to thrust his tiny country outside of Russia’s political orbit is well established. But as his nearly decade-long tenure comes to an end, Georgians are still struggling to define this 45-year-old leader and the mark he has left on Georgia.
The upcoming Georgian presidential vote may not match last October’s parliamentary elections in terms of intensity and the political stakes involved. But the October 27 balloting could still mark an important milestone the country’s democratization process.
The chair of Georgia’s Central Election Commission, Tamar Zhvania, has decided not to give civil society organizations access to digitized precinct-level data on the country’s October-27 presidential Election Day, preferring only to release it officially as prescribed by Georgian law.
Two European Union ministers have urged Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili to respect the rule of law and avoid the "politics of revenge."
Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt visited Tbilisi on October 23, the last stop on a tour of Eastern Partnership countries ahead of a key summit in Vilnius in late November.
Thirteen months ago, the appearance of prison abuse videos helped send President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement Party down to defeat in parliamentary elections. Now, on the eve of another national election, rights advocates are complaining that Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili’s government hasn’t done much to open Georgian prisons to public accountability.