The National Movement – Fresh Breath in Georgian Politics
23 February, 2012
The National Movement – Fresh Breath in  Georgian Politics

 

This group of young people separated itself from Shevardnadze’s most supportive political force called the Citizens’ Union, having created their own political association and naming it National Movement. Professor Simon Maskharashvili has more.

GJ – Ten years of Eduard Shevardnadze’s rule in Georgia had a whole lot of positive aspects. Although the corruption was rampant in his time and the crime level was high, although Georgia lost war in Apkhazeti (Abkhazia) and the Tskhinvali Region, the country was still being constrained

within the framework of certain statehood. And most importantly, Shevardnadze reinstated to Georgia its ever-known historical function. He was wisely trying not to damage Georgia’s relations with Russia, and in an attempt of not severing those ties, Georgia became the member of CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States. Meanwhile, it was obvious that Shevardnadze’s political convictions were Western-oriented, seeing Georgia’s future more in the Euro-Atlantic geopolitical space than anywhere else.

S.M. – Although Shevardnadze was known for his tolerance towards corrupt workers within his administration, he still gave a chance to Mikheil Saakashvili and other young people to build their careers during his rule. Shevardnadze flashed light for them into his government by putting their names on the 1995 parliamentary ballots and later by their assignment on ministerial and other highly-ranking governmental posts. In other words, regardless his old soviet style of administration he gave way to new tendencies in ruling the country. Saakashvili’s public speeches made it obvious that he was a young politician of clearly pro-western orientation. When Shevardnadze insisted that the youth wing of his political association (the Citizens’ Union) be put on the electoral slate, it became evident that he had no intention to fight for the idea of communism until he breathed his last. Yes, he truly was a communist-turned-pragmatist kind of a weathered politician, knowing his ropes fairly well. And finally the historical moment arrived: when the world understood that the leopard (Russia) could not change his spots and expansionism was still remaining as the main leading force for the traditional Russian politics (this became especially obvious as a result of Russia’s second war in Chechnya and Putin’s crusade against the free press) interest towards Georgia had augmented because it now was seen as an alternative transit territory for gas and oil and a country with a serious geopolitical significance. So the interest towards Georgia grew, and the international community came to believe that Georgia was not only the land of banditry and corruption, but there also lived and operated a thinking healthy young generation which deserved to be considered for partnership and business-like relationships.

GJ – Later, this group of young people separated itself from Shevardnadze’s most supportive political force called the Citizens’ Union, having created their own political association and naming it National Movement.

S.M. – The National Movement soon became very popular and acquired wide public support and favor. During the sessions of the Georgian parliament, this group of young politicians openly criticized the corrupt members of the Shevardnadze administration.

 

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