Letter of the Georgian People to the Free World
24 February, 2020
Letter of the Georgian People to the Free World
The citizens of Georgia have written a letter to the West, appealing for help in defending the freedom of Georgian people There is a petition available with the letter as well, where the votes are increasing at a fast speed. 

"We, the citizens of Georgia, appeal for help in defending our free, sovereign and democratic country.

Since its independence from the Soviet Union, Georgia has moved steadily towards becoming an established democracy. Despite the odds—and in defiance of so many skeptics—our
country showed what successful reforms could achieve. With Western support, Georgia became a leading democracy in the region, first and foremost due to the determination of its people.

But today, all of this is under a clear and growing threat—the young Georgian democracy is on the verge of collapse.

Georgia’s shadow ruler, Bidzina Ivanishvili, an oligarch with ties to Russia, is rapidly turning the country into his personal fiefdom. He runs Georgia as an unelected and unaccountable leader of the ruling party—much as it was done in Soviet times. The oligarch fully controls all three branches of Government and uses the courts as a weapon to silence critics and jail political leaders and activists. He funds anti-Western disinformation campaigns to demonize pro-Western opponents. His unchecked power is sowing discord and violence in Georgia, which only benefits our northern neighbor, Russia.

Public opinion has turned on Ivanishvili, and his increasingly brazen power-grabs. The overwhelming majority of Georgian society strongly supports reform of the electoral system. They understand that political pluralism needs to be restored in order to roll back the endemic state capture and one-man rule that has characterized the last several years of Ivanishvili’s informal rule.

Shaken by mass protests, Ivanishvili yielded in June 2019 pledged to reform the electoral system. But four months later, scared of losing power, the oligarch broke his word and binned the reform bill. Moreover, Ivanishvili jeopardized the subsequent negotiation process regarding the electoral system with the opposition by sentencing a major opposition leader, sending a clear signal that he is not interested in dialogue.

Georgia is located in a strategically important region, caught between Russia and the Middle East. Having democracy flourish here would have real implications for global peace and security. A strong and democratic Georgia would serve as a valuable example to the world. Its failure will strengthen Russia in its quest to weaken Euro-Atlantic security.

We are committed to strengthening Georgian democracy by means of free and fair elections. But to achieve this goal, we need the West to firmly stand with us.

We call on the leaders of the democratic world to use all means at your disposal to convince Georgia’s informal master, Bidzina Ivanishvili to compromise by putting an end to political persecution and releasing political prisoners, and delivering electoral reform that would defuse tensions and normalize the situation in the run-up to the 2020 parliamentary elections."

See the original post here 

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