Georgia suffering the steepest drop in democratic quality in eastern Europe
09 January, 2019
Georgia suffering the steepest drop in democratic quality in eastern Europe
According to the statistics for the Democracy Index 2018, published by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), recent presidential election squabbles led to Georgia suffering the steepest drop in democratic quality in eastern Europe.

Georgia has 5.93 points within the index, while it lowered at 5.50 points in 2018. It should be noted that Georgia still remains in the list of "hybrid regimes" countries. The developing countries are called “hybrid” as they combine democratic traits with autocratic ones. 

"Under Ivanishvili's influence, the government
intervened in the second-round presidential election, offering a debt write-off to 600,000 citizens two weeks after election day," the EIU's Democratic Index report noted.

The Prime Minister of Georgia Mamuka Bakhtadze announced on the 19th of November that the bank debt of over 600,000 Georgian citizens, including those on a so-called ‘Black List’, will be annulled. The decision was made by the Georgian authorities just nine days before the second round of the presidential elections.
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The statistics were accompanied by the extracts from the findings carried out by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

"The second round of Georgia’s presidential election was competitive and candidates were able to campaign freely, however one side enjoyed an undue advantage and the negative character of the campaign on both sides undermined the process," the OSCE said in a statement back in November.

The particular "undue advantage," both the OSCE and the EIU report noted, was from the country's billionaire former prime minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose Georgia Dream party endorsed candidate and now-president Salome Zurabishvili.

Related stories:

Unprecedented move by Cartu Group to nullify debts for 600 000 Georgian citizens

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