Friday, August 26, 2016

Caucasus Report

Georgian President’s New Year's Proposals Meet Cool Reception

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili
Speaking on Georgian TV late on New Year's Eve, President Mikheil Saakashvili proposed to the new government headed by Bidzina Ivanishvili a five-point agenda that he claimed would help reverse the "downward spiral" toward "chaos" Saakashvili said had been precipitated by what he termed the new leadership's vindictive and destructive actions.

Ivanishvili has not yet responded to those proposals, but two respected members of his Georgian Dream (KO) coalition's parliament faction have cast doubt on the president's sincerity, as has a former close associate of ex-President Eduard Shevardnadze.

Saakashvili prefaced his proposals by arguing that a democratic transfer of power is not an end in itself and democratically elected leaders have on occasion set about "destroying democracy." He imputed to Ivanishvili's government a whole list of "mistakes," including reassessing major infrastructure projects and thereby jeopardizing the creation of new jobs; focusing on "the destruction of the political opposition" rather than on delivering on its election campaign promises to improve socio-economic conditions; creating "the threat of chaos and civil confrontation" by pressurizing local councils; and sabotaging strategic ties with Georgia's Western allies.

Saakashvili's five proposals were as follows:

-- To refrain from "aggressive and insulting rhetoric," "portraying each other as criminals and traitors," and "hate speech," so as not to "split the society apart."

-- To end what he termed "the repressive campaign of persecution, arrests, questionings of the opposition, as well as the senseless revision of the past and witch hunt," and the "persecution of the free media."

Saakashvili was presumably referring to the arrests of several former senior government officials suspected of having committed serious crimes (including torture, murder, and large-scale fraud) and the summoning of others for questioning.

The "persecution of the free media" may refer to the investigation launched in early November to determine why the public broadcaster owes 3.8 million laris ($2.29 million) in unpaid taxes.

In his own New Year's address to the Georgian people, Ivanishvili hinted at leniency for members of the previous government "who wittingly or unwittingly were in the service of lies and violence." He said they should be treated with dignity and no effort should be spared to enable them "to take their dignified place in society."

Koba Davitashvili, a member of the Georgian Dream parliament faction, told journalists on January 4 that parliament was ready to consider an amnesty for former officials if Saakashvili's United National Movement (ENM) requested it. But he said such an amnesty would be contingent on the ENM publicly admitting that former officials were arrested for having committed crimes.

-- Not to undermine Georgia's relations with the West or hinder its integration into Euro-Atlantic structures.

Saakashvili did not specify in what way he considers the new government is engaging in such a policy. Ivanishvili has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to Georgian membership of NATO and the European Union. In his own New Year's address to the Georgian people, he said 2013 will bring the country nearer to achieving those goals.

-- To stop attacks on local councils, by which Saakashvili may have meant efforts to investigate suspected attempts by local councils to rig the outcome of the October 1 parliamentary elections in favor of Saakashvili's ENM.

The Prosecutor-General's Office said on December 26 it was investigating the alleged use by the ENM of government funds to finance election campaigning in Mingrelia in western Georgia.

-- To convene an international conference, to be chaired jointly by himself and Ivanishvili, with the aim of "restoring" the confidence of both potential local and international investors.

Again, Ivanishvili has repeatedly affirmed his interest in attracting investment, including in his New Year's Eve address.

Irakli Menagharishvili, who served from 1995 to 2003 as foreign minister under Shevardnadze, said Saakashvili's five-point plan "lacks sincerity." So, too, did a second member of Georgian Dream's parliament faction, respected legal expert Vakhtang Khmaladze, whom Ivanishvili has identified as a possible Georgian Dream candidate in the presidential election due in October.

Davitashvili went even further, describing Saakashvili's proposals as "a classic example of political pharisaism." Davitashvili was for years a close associate of Saakashvili but broke with him in early 2004 to protest what he termed undemocratic amendments to the Georgian Constitution.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Ben
January 06, 2013 14:53
when the whole Saakashvili team appeare in jail and Russians will be satisfied,RFERL will fight with the enthusiasm the "human rights" violations in Georgia.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
January 08, 2013 19:20
It looks like the direction Ivanishvili takes becoming threatening.
Saakashvili just making observation of the trends emergeing.
Article is a typical Russian "kruchkotvory" interpretationing.
Blaim "Saaka" for blaim "Ivana"? Saaka warned people,
Georgia is small survive betrail, "Ivan"-made ripples:

I warned agains Alasania be a minister of defence,
"Ivana" made him one, now, echoing Russia army,
He relies on professional Georgia army - but fence
As he did in 2008, or Gorby before "bloody sunday",
End of reservists training and desarming all people.

Saakashvili is right, Ivanishvili team is capable rack
Georgian spirit, support of international community,
Usurp small payed army, reservists being wrecked,
Population demoralized for Russian inasion planed.

I remember 1993 news and WW2 veteran stopping
Russian death armies invading from Abkhazia side.
Is it what Russia, possible masters of "Ivana" team,
Affraid, coarsing take-over CIS and Ukraine outright
Paralyzing resistance of Georgians and the World?

by: Jack from: US
January 06, 2013 15:17
is the aspiring NATO minion Mr.Srakashvilli still on the lose? That is only because his cell is not ready yet
In Response

by: peter from: ottawa
January 07, 2013 12:54
Jack, democracy is working in Georgia nobody is shooting at each other. As for the President hes not going into any cell but I know you are still walking to your russian outhouse in your muddy slippers.

by: to RFERL from: USA
January 06, 2013 18:48
Caution, do not spread lies or you mission in the North Caucasus will be compromised!
The story
"In a separate raid on December 28, police and security forces killed armed people in the village of Chontaul, in the Kizilyurt district."
Actually is
In Response

by: Jack from: US
January 06, 2013 20:38
the Muslim freedom fighter says to RFE/RL: "do not spread lies or you mission in the North Caucasus will be compromised! "

actually, RFERL mission will be compromised exactly when it stops spreading lies and fabrications by Pentagon propaganda department.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
January 11, 2013 00:46
Lying, Jack, - RFE mission is ordered by Russia that bombed
Pentagon on 9/11, as well as "blizhnee Zarubezh'e", Caucasus
and Georgia.

All of pro-Russian Gebbels propaganda in modern World isn't
only payed by Russia, but belong to multitute of Russians and
non-Russian Quisling from former USSR that were promissed
to plander Georgia and other non-Russian lands and property
and breed there Russians and alike, at least since 1954-56.
All I know that now living in USA are the same, with hatefull greed
lying about victims of Russia "unferly living" in nice houses and guardens that must be taken away from them.
All your propaganda is like Khrutchevian vodka-Putinka:

"Ey Putinka, vresh groshovaya,
Za desyatku prodayut, neputevuyu.
Peyte chernosotennye baby Russkie,
Mordy lzhivye, naglye, mozgi Prusskie."

by: to RFERL from: USA
January 07, 2013 17:00
Caution! the following lie written by Russian terrorist Jack: "is the aspiring NATO minion Mr.Srakashvilli" has a hidden message. Russians call the President of Georgia Srakashvilli. Literally from Russian is means a-hole-svilli (In Russian jargon sraka is a-hole, and Georgian ending svilli means son of). Your mission to the Caucasus will be compromised if you let derogatory posts toward Caucasian leaders to get through.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
January 07, 2013 17:52
Muslim freedom fighter says: "Russians call the President of Georgia Srakashvilli".
My mother says Srakashvilli is a noble Georgian name, not like Gamsaturdia
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
January 11, 2013 00:57
If Saakashvili is ethnic Russian, he might be "Srakov".
Like you, Jack-Ass, meaning"Sraka", lying makaque.
As in Russian song about the "Kulikovo pole" battle:
"Vperedy nasrat', pozadi nasrat', poseredine srakl."
You never truthful or consious, just Russian rattle.

by: Alla Wagner from: Canada
January 07, 2013 23:50
First to those who published this trashy news: in all these years of progress you have reported practically nothing positive of this exceptional nation and their president, you are like vultures sitting by for trash like this insignificant event to publish, are you looking/ hoping for civil war in Georgia? Why don’t you cover events in your motherrussia, and stay out of Georgian affairs. To those whatever percent of lowlifes, so called Georgians, you don’t like my president or todays progressive Georgia – relocate to putinist russia! Dreamers you are an excuse for human being, you have the government today why are you not governing? Are you afraid that if you don’t get rid of my president asap, people will see your real face and will ask you to get the hell out? That must be it, otherwise why would you not just do “magical wonderful governing, as promised” so 100% of population can back you up! Truth is you never wanted or expected to govern – your orders from kremlin were to start a disturbance so putins tanks would advance to Tbilisi. Keep dreaming you scam bidzina and your dreamers!

by: Garen Mailyan from: Glendale,CA
January 08, 2013 06:30
Ivanishvili should not compromise what Sahakashvili achieved in Georgia. I hope Ivanishvili will not turn Georgia back under Russian domination, because then Georgia, as well as Armenia can kiss development good bye, and will go back being Russia's provinces - ever backwards, ever hopeless - void of development and independence. Georgia's success towards West bridges Armenia to the same dream, since Georgia is Armenia's only route to West, due to its conflict with Turkey.
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 08, 2013 14:28
Sirely Garen,do you know the biggest insult in Georgia for anyone is to be called an armenian,Do you know georgians are worse for armenians than turks-hundreds of armenian churches and properies destroyed or taken over by georgian `patriots`??? And Armenia is and will always remain a russian province??? Armenia needs a way to the west as we need another hole in the head-the west is and will always remain 99% pro-turkish!!! you may have the time of your life in California,but the world is not a Glendale,and you will never understand anything about armenian problems from your shamerican point of view!!!
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
January 08, 2013 15:19
The biggest insult in this sad World for anyone is to be called Camel Anaturk from Kurdistan...
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
January 08, 2013 19:50
Camel Anush from Turky, even in your name is hate,
Naturaly to Turks and Kurds, Griboedov's Anush,
For marrying a Georgian nobleman, that went
To Tbilisi, making King Hachik to cry - a bait,
Griboedov's hate of Georgia, he umbushed.

Georgia saved Real Armenia many times,
Turkish Armenia liberated - twice. Refuge,
Forced by Griboedov, with Russia swines,
Repopulate part of Tbilisi and countryside.
Still, they took more refugees from Turkey.

Sure Georgians are humans and they joke
In family enviroment, about different things.
They respected Erevanians, an Iberia stok,
Call them "Sa-O-Me-He" (part of herritage)
And at times call pushy Karabah "donkey".
In Response

by: Jack from: US
January 09, 2013 03:09
Camel says the truth: "hundreds of armenian churches and properies destroyed or taken over by georgian `patriots'"

look even camels can speak out truth sometimes
In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
January 09, 2013 13:10
Dearest Con., anoush aboush,there is a difference between Kurdistan and your and the georgians` beloved turkestan.All armenians are thankful to the georgians for saving them umpteen times,if it wasnt for the georgians,there wouldnt be a single living armenian today and armenans are most happy to be part of georgians` heritage.However,you are only human and humans are prone to make mistakes such as:`Georgians are human`-wrong-they are super humans,judging by the greatest Humanist of them all-good old Uncle Joe Koba,and his greatest current clone-Vityaz in a tigers`,pardon donkey skin-Vakhtangian djan from Mosscow.Now poor haters like me cant quite get all this true and sincere love of humanity,but we are not georgians,of course.And armenians are not an Iberian stock-recent research in Ankara.Tbilisi and Baki proves they are Patagonians,and Georgians were the first human beings on earth-they had their great empire in the Caucasus before the ascent of man-in fact they were the missing link!!! So,its high time we relocate all abkhaz,ossetian and non-georgians to sunny Siberia for a crash course in reeducation and build a new ,bigger and better St.Georgia based on the most humanist principles of National Socialism.Its crazydent should be good old Vahe from Mosscow and the prime minister must be the current Shota Rustaveli from the city of Bechtel Angels-and no prizes for guessing who he is!!! Well,maybe an empty bottle of adulterated georgian wine will do,thank you very much!!!

About This Blog

This blog presents analyst Liz Fuller's personal take on events in the region, following on from her work in the "RFE/RL Caucasus Report." It also aims, to borrow a metaphor from Tom de Waal, to act as a smoke detector, focusing attention on potential conflict situations and crises throughout the region. The views are the author's own and do not represent those of RFE/RL.