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The Georgian Political Shuffle: A Chat With The Experts

RFE/RL Georgian Service Director David Kakabadze (left) and Power Vertical author Brian Whitmore

It was a diverse and unwieldy coalition that was formed for one reason and one reason only -- defeating former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and his ruling United National Movement.

And as soon as that goal was accomplished two years ago, the cracks began to appear in this rickety alliance, which includes liberals, socialists, and nationalists.

And this week, with the sacking of Defense Minister Irakli Alasania -- currently the most popular politician in Georgia -- those cracks became a chasm.

In the aftermath of Alasania's firing, European and Euro-Atlantic Integration Minister Aleksi Petriashvili and Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze quit in protest -- leaving Georgia's fragile ruling coalition vulnerable and potentially placing its goals of European integration in jeopardy.

Join Brian Whitmore, author of RFE/RL's Power Vertical blog and David Kakabadze, director of RFE/RL's Georgian Service, as they discuss the developments.


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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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