‘Political processes are sliding into crisis’
14 October, 2010
‘Political processes are sliding into crisis’

How Georgian Government uses White House statements

Russia gets closer to China; Strasburg Court issues an official decree on inhuman treatment of Chechens by Russian militaries. And what is going on in Georgia?

Nothing new: just those regular mass and TV arrests, as well as internal strife and mutual accusations on the part of the opposition parties - who is whose agent and who is doing whose job. Meanwhile, Abkhazians and Ossetians started demarcation of borders in tandem with their “senior

Russians brothers”. On the plus side, Americans offered another casual recognition of our territorial integrity. At the same time, with the nearing Presidential elections in Russia, the Northern loop over the Georgian throat tightens. This is the list of issues we discussed with political expert Gia  Khukhashvili:

Q: The Authorities termed the recent arrests of individual entrepreneurs by the investigation unit of Ministry of Finances as the next step towards legalization of businesses, whereas the opposition sees it as a continuation of repressions. What is really happening, in your opinion?
A: Although the Authorities branded the arrests as “business whitening”, I stand to doubt legitimacy of their assertion. In general, it’s a simple technique – first hitching people to commit crimes and then penalizing them for these crimes. With apparently trifle transgressions, this massive public televised arrests and repressions cannot be seen as healthy by any rate.

Q: In previous years, governmental and presidential reserve funds used to receive incessant harsh criticism. According to a number of investigations conducted by NGOs, use of money from the funds was far from being transparent. At the start of the year, both funds accounted for GEL 25 million each. At the end of the year, the figures jumped to GEL 55 million each.
A: The principle of today’s system can be described in the following way: in the past we lived in the corrupted state – every level was ridden with corruption on both income and spending sides. In the post-revolution period, corruption was monopolized. The Authorities created quite an interesting system. They get the income side of the vertical free from any sign of corruption. They reasoned that they could simply do things by lodging all the money in the budget and spending it through the budget whenever they would like to. Moreover, it does not matter whether the presidential fund is 50 million or 100 million because the Authorities have all the instruments to use the budget for anything they deem it necessary.
Hence, the State budget was dubbed “the purse of the Authorities” for its servicing of political and private interests of the rulers. The Authorities shun calling it corruption. Instead, they do everything to make the public believe that corruption is a lump of money accepted as a bribe by an individual governmental officer. However, in my view, redistribution of stakes in businesses to the benefit of oligarch groups is also called corruption. The same goes for the misuse of budget resources. It is so naive to imagine corruption only as a bribing factory of cash-bursting suitcases. We are well aware that the State money is spent on political purposes as well. We do remember that in the middle of polemics about sensibility to hold another extraordinary election, the Authorities blurted out that the elections cost a billion, a long way off their official figures of “minuscule” 20-25 million.
Certainly it is corruption when the budget money is funneled to causes of electoral significance. Likewise, do not be surprised if I tell you that refurbishing houses or streets on the eve of elections is just another example of corruption. Well, at a first glance, it is a good thing to refurbish residential infrastructure. It improves living conditions of common people. However, these things need to be done daily, beyond the electoral periods, not for the sole purpose of defeating the opposing political forces – which by the way involves buying people and taking ownership of their soles.

Q: According to Hillary Clinton, the US State Secretary, the ongoing constitutional changes are the most prominent and significant challenge Georgia is facing. What do you think is the official attitude of Washington to the Georgian Authorities?
A: Clinton’s speech was a review of whatever the United States has done or is doing in Georgia for yeas. There is nothing new in the fact that NATO doors are open for Georgia, or that we are in the regime of being recognized within our integral borders and alike. The Authorities try to utilize the US State Secretary’s statements for their own PR, crafting a mockery of Clinton’s all-out support for them. On the other end, the opposition interprets all the statements plainly from a skeptical point of view. In reality, no side has enough grounds for either skepticism or optimism.
Regarding the general position of the United States on Georgia, I believe it has changed radically. As a global player, the United States presumes that it has a certain asset in the case of Georgia.

Q: Confrontations continue to abound in the political life of Georgia. In the opposition everyone blames everyone else for everything so that it becomes increasingly difficult to tell who is with whom.
A: I cannot tell you who is with whom in the opposition; who feels dumped or treads multiple paths of intellectual imbroglio. The only fact I can see is that the Authorities have no political problem inside the country to worry about whatsoever. Political processes are dead. The Authorities are easily handling the situation in whatever way. I am afraid political processes are sliding into the crisis.

Other Stories

Statement which caused the uproar

When the results of the investigation were published, the people, politicians and experts were discussing whether the investigation was carried out fairly. Besides, if the government’s version is correct, eavesdropping devices were installed at Rustavi 2 TV with the knowledge of the management. Law enforcers must take this case to an end. Expert Alexander Tvalchrelidze is sure that the recording devices were not installed under the current authorities:
First Trilateral Summit-Level Meeting
Turkish Ambassador talked with Georgian Journal about visit of Turkish President

Abdullah Gül, President of the Republic of Turkey, paid his second official visit to Georgia. On the first day of the visit, the trilateral summit among Georgian, Turkish and Azeri Presidents took place. Georgian Journal seized the opportunity and recorded the interview right after the three-day visit of the Turkish President, with the Ambassador of Turkey to Georgia, H.E. Mr. Levent Gümrükçü.
Polish Book on Georgians and Abkhazians
Interview with the Ambassador of Poland to Georgia

Poland, together with the Czech Republic and Hungary, celebrates its 15th anniversary of joining NATO. With the V4 and Baltic States, Slovenia, Cyprus and Malta it celebrates its 10th anniversary of EU accession. Georgian Journal spoke with the Ambassador of Poland to Georgia, Mr. Andrzej Cieszkowski, about the EU, his challenges as a diplomat while living abroad for the second time and his first ambassadorial mission as well as about personal interests. Stay with us.
Interview with Austrian researcher and analyst, Eugene Kogan

What’s going on in Ukraine, what is Crimea’s destiny and how will the Ukrainian events influence Georgia? We discussed these questions with Eugene Kogan, Austrian researcher and a Realpolitik expert who is currently in Georgia and cooperates with Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Ambition to have Ukraine as one’s own part
Below Ramaz Sakvarelidze, a political expert, answers Georgian Journal’s questions on the current situation of Georgia, the way of integration into Europe and signing of the Association Agreement. At the same time, we are concerned about the events in Ukraine, the political expert assesses risks that Georgia may face on its way into Europe while avoiding pressure and danger from Russia.
Sochi threatened
Russia created a special 11-km wide zone deep in occupied Abkhazia

For almost two months Sochi will host athletes, public figures and journalists from up to 90 countries.
Interview with expert Kakhi Kakhishvili

We hope Bidzina Ivanishvili will stay neutral to the end and in case of reasoned criticism of authorities he will side with civil society. By the way, Ivanishvili kept one more promise and, on leaving, nominated Davit Narmania as the candidate for the Tbilisi Mayor’s post. We began the interview with expert Kakhi Kakhishvili with this issue.
Will the monster created by the previous powers disintegrate?

Last week Irakli Gharibashvili, candidate for the PM post, first named Otar Partskhaladze as the substitute for Chief Prosecutor, and then Alexander Chikaidze as the candidate for the post of Interior Minister. Why did the Chief Prosecutor leave his post? What do the cadre changes mean for us? Expert Kakha Kakhishvili shares his opinion:
Summoning Patience and Consistency

Exclusive Interview with Mrs. Elita Gavele, Latvian Ambassador to Georgia

It is always difficult to predict what will happen in the future. The easiest thing is to wait to make things clear. All we know at the present time is that we have a new president Giorgi Margvelashvili from the ruling party. Let's see what will change. However, there are many expectations and hopes for the better in the society that had a total feeling of injustice. Georgian Journal talked to Mrs. Elita Gavele, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Latvia to Georgia and Armenia.

Interview with philosopher Zaza Piralishvili

Why the 2013 Presidential elections don’t resemble previous ones? Do the election programs, promises and political views of presidential candidates differ from one another? Below Philosopher Zaza Piralishvili dissects these issues.
“Prosecutors’ Office  Still a Black  Hole”
Interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili

Last week traditionally proved to be politically tense in Georgia. We witnessed Bidzina Ivanishvili’s “talk show” - this time featuring representatives of TV channels. In another development, MIA found an identity of the Jihad Video fabricator. Finally, the general assembly of the National Movement Party closed the week. Our interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili started with this event staged by the Nationals.
Russians Have Not Paid the Fee
In a live interview from New-York, President Mikheil Saakashvili said the following: “In the last weeks and months we lost more agricultural lands than in Kurta and Tamarasheni villages combined.”
Mikheil Saakashvili was the President during the August 2008 war too. So, he is supposed to be the most knowledgeable of all that during those tragic days Georgia was ripped of not just Tamarasheni and Kurta arable lands but around 20% of the country’s area! This loss should have been more than enough for any decent, homeland loving leader of the country to recognize the strategic mistakes he committed before and during the war, and resign.
Mamuka AreshidzeInterview with expert

One year after the change in the ruling power, political pressure is rising in the country again. There are a plenty of reasons – promises are being fulfilled at a low tempo or not at all. In the given situation, the decision by PM Bidzina Ivanishvili to leave politics feeds into the public fear of future. We spoke with expert Mamuka Areshidze about this and other interesting topics:
Interview with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili

Today the most urgent topic is whether Ivanishvili leaves or stays in politics. We discussed this and other topical issues with expert Soso Tsiskarishvili.
Demise of Nabucco

Eugene Kogen: I don’t see Georgia as a EU member for another 25 years to come…

”Nabucco was a victim of clash of interests in Brussels” – says South Caucasus security expert Eugene Kogen. In an exclusive interview, he talked about the demise of much-talked project of Nabucco pipeline and his own, skeptical view of Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic future.

‘I don’t Expect Any Major Response from USA...‘
Interview with Michael Cecire, associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute

- Former PM Vano Merabishvili, present-day UNM Secretary General, and ex-Healthcare Minister Zurab Chiaberashvili, currently Governor of Kakheti region, were arrested.
Georgia Targets on Innovations
Innovation Research and Development Council was created at Georgian parliament to base national economy on innovations in pursuance with the best world experience. The Council will peruse each innovation proposal and scientific work so as to use the country’s intellectual potential take its nich among developed economies.
Scandalous Detail of August War
Umpteenth violation of International Agreement on the part of the Kremlin

The August war in 2008 left indelible trace in the minds of many people world over thanks to a number of video and photo materials depicting Russians grabbing and taking away weaponry and military machinery of Georgian Army but this Blitzkrieg war had another episode, which did not take up the headlines. It should have caused an international scandal for sure. Now it’s late.
ne of the Georgian Army units which retreated from its Tskhinvali outskirts position in August 2008, brought 16 Strela-2 - man-portable, shoulder-fired, low-altitude surface-to-air missile system – to Tbilisi. This weapon was abandoned by Russian instructors and Ossetian separatists fighting Georgian troops.
After several-year interval Georgian-Russian dialog has ensued. What does Georgia expect from this dialog with 88% of its population, supporting relations with Russia? Answer to this question is intertwined with the reasons that conditioned increase of the supporters of the dialog with Russia while Russia as an image of enemy, is considered as a stigma for the last 20 years and not only desire of relations but even mentioning it in a slightly positive context, was almost equivalent of expulsion from the society.
‘Akhalaia’s release in return for ambassadors is inadmissible’

There is a smell of new provocation in the air in Georgia that is called ‘religious confrontation’. Our compatriot Christians and Muslims declare that instigators are trying to aggravate the situation. This way or that way the authorities didn’t have adequate and timely reaction; we may get a result that even the instigators of this escalation didn’t want or expect. The expert Kote Zhgenti hopes that the situation won’t aggravate. According to him the authors of this artificial process don’t consider that interests of the country may be sacrificed to all this.

‘Georgian authorities are doing everything for blood-shedding’

High-ranking diplomats and International Organizations can’t hide their concern about the events undergoing in the country. OSCE sees the signs of Leninism and according to Terry Benhem, an American expert on election issues, adviser of NGO ‘Open Democracy Committee’, the voters’ lists, fines and rule of law are under a question mark in Georgia.



Interview with Mamuka Areshidze, political scientist


Everybody and everything in Georgia are in possession of pre-election fever. The authorities being under time pressure because of Ivanishvili’s unexpected appearance in politics can’t cope with issuing fines or other sanctions. It seems they hope in Saakashvili’s team that victors are not judged… We are talking about the peripety in Georgian politics with political scientist Mamuka Areshidze.


Why didn’t Saakashvili have face-to-face meeting with State Minister?

Against the background of recent appointment/sacking process conducted by the authorities, UN General Assembly’s resolution on Georgia was left beyond public attention. With this issue we began our interview with Mamuka Areshidze, an expert of Caucasian issues:

“Sarkozy Was Minister of Internal Affairs Too Before Becoming President”

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.


Expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze on Mrs. Clinton’s visit to Georgia

We began our interview with expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze with recent hullabaloo about National Exam Center. We’ll remind you that Dimitri Shashkin, Minister of Education of Georgia sacked Maia Miminoshvili, head of National Center.

GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
GEL Exchange
April 2019
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30