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RFE/RL's South Caucasus Report: Georgia's New Leaders and Azerbaijan's New Protests


At a violent protest in front of Azerbaijan's education ministry, Baku, 5Oct2012

At a violent protest in front of Azerbaijan's education ministry, Baku, 5Oct2012

A sampling of breaking news and analysis from the South Caucasus.

AZERBAIJAN:

# Radio Azadliq's multimedia report shows police in Baku violently dispersing dozens of activists who had gathered outside the Ministry of Education on Friday demanding the end to a ban on Islamic headscarves in schools.

# Correspondent Claire Bigg reports that Azerbaijan this week lost its bid to block a key resolution by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) that broadens the body's authority to probe rights abuses in the South Caucasus country. Azerbaijan is accused of aggressively lobbying against attempts to scrutinize its rights record in recent years and seeking to undermine PACE's mandate.

# Amnesty International and the Azerbaijani SING for Democracy human rights campaign are calling on pop-music megastars Rihanna and Shakira to boycott the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup, where they are both scheduled to appear later this month.

# With the ever-growing personality cult of Azerbaijan’s late national leader, seeing statues of Heydar Aliyev back home is nothing new. But over the past decade tributes to Aliyev have been cropping up in cities all over the world, from Belgrade to Cairo and now all the way to Mexico City. Check out our interactive map.

GEORGIA:

# With Georgia's elections over, the Georgian Dream coalition faces the hard work of trying to govern. Can this band of disparate political groups ranging from hardcore nationalists to free-market liberals maintain enough postelection cohesion to name a cabinet? Correspondents Nino Gelashvili and Robert Coalson take a look at the challenges.

# Although President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat in Georgia's parliamentary elections, it's already clear that the ideological and tactical battle between his party and Bidzina Ivanishvili's victorious Georgian Dream bloc is far from over. A report from analyst Liz Fuller.

# What happens when a president's party loses a parliamentary election to the opposition before the president's term is over? The result is "cohabitation," not unlike when a divorced couple continues to live under the same roof. Here are four things to know about it. Correspondent Charles Recknagel reports.

# An recent uptick in crime across Georgia is making waves as the country undergoes its first-ever peaceful transition of political power.

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