Expert opinion
“Sarkozy Was Minister of Internal Affairs Too Before Becoming President”
05 July, 2012

Appointment of currently former Minister of Internal Affairs Vano Merabishvili to the post of Prime-Minister of Georgia overshadowed nearly all other recent political events. Is it promotion of Vano Merabishvili or downgrading of his power? We put this question on the top of issues discussed in our interview with political expert Soso Tsiskarishvili.

A: Formally, Saakashvili has promoted Merabishvili. At the same time, he disassociated Merabishvili from the police management system and subjugated the latter. Perhaps, it speaks about an

insufficient level of trust in the police that President had. This move by him is interesting as such but does not really engender an expectation of good things to come.
Q: In a report that so closely resembles focus areas of the Georgian Dream, the newly appointed Prime-Minister indicated unemployment, insurance and agriculture as the main priorities.
A: Announcement of these priorities does not rule out furtive fantasizing at nights. Let us recall that Sarkozy too was the Minister of Internal Affairs before becoming the President of France. Well, the career growth of Mr Merabishvili could be headed to the similar direction as well. If so, I wonder who will present him for this top post, Ivanishvili or Saakashvili?
Q: Recently Georgia was visited by the NATO Deputy Secretary General, Ambassador Alexander Vershbow. He told the opposition that the question of NATO accession of Georgia depends on the change of power via elections.
A: As early as in 2006, during its Riga Summit, NATO made the first allusion to the necessity for Georgia to have the free justice system in order to realize its membership aspirations and relations with NATO. Since then we have been unsuccessfully trying to persuade NATO that our courts were the best. All along the time facts and figures were letting us down. The Authorities are ready to forego everything, even ditch the interests of Georgian State to retain the positions.
Q: In its assessment of pre-election environment, NDI expressed its concern about ongoing political polarization.
A: NDI is not alone in making such a recommendation. It comes from the group set up on the basis of the US State Budget, and it’s a verdict for Georgia. The document implies that Georgia should be a democratic, welfare state and not the country being strangulated by the grips of weak democracy.
Q: Do you think that the recent adoption of the version of Must Carry principle stems from the fear of the Authorities that in the aftermath of elections the masses maybe mobilized via television?
A: If the population receives information about what the Government did in the elections, they’ll surely have to rush to the streets.
Q: Some people say that these days the President lies all the time. What do you make of it?
A: Saakashvili knows that it is a lie when he terms the coalition Georgian Dream as “a Putin’s squad”. With all his libel-rich fantasy, he cannot find any new topic to further energize his team. So, he suffers, of course. The man who feels obliged to throw a daily load of filth at a rival political force is trusted less and less. Accordingly, more and more people realize how unfounded are his accusations. I do not doubt that such unfair harassments, total and amoral lies are going to inflate feelings of injustice and empathy towards the Georgian Dream. We have witnessed transformation of courts, prosecution and businesses into subordinate units of Ministry of Justice. In the same way, Control Chamber, National Bank of Georgia, Ministries of Healthcare, Education and Sports and others are servants to MIA. All of them plaster before the people on top of this hierarchy. This is the way power system functions in Georgia and it should not come as a surprise when, according to the World Bank estimates, 72% of Georgian economy is in the shadow essentially. This rate places the country in the 151st place on the list of countries by their economic honesty. It means that economic processes in our country are guided by high level corruption.
Whatever lies the Authorities are resorting to, they cannot hide truth. They are mobilized and motivated to rig the elections. Western leaders realize that in case of power usurpation in Georgia, the country is likely to join the Eurasian space, rather than NATO. I’d advice the Authorities to take example from Lukashenko when it comes to relating to courts. Many opposition representatives went there to sue Lukashenko for illegal dismissals and press closedowns and they won all the three levels of justice. It is the execution structure that poses a major problem in Belarus due to its obedience to Lukashenko. Simply put, the court decisions are ignored and are not enforced by this execution agency. Anyway, courts are independent in Belarus. Lukashenko knows that if courts are stifled, he too would be affected. As for our country, ours is injustice system, and not justice system.

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