Thursday, December 13, 2007

Georgia: Doing Things the Putin Way?

Transparency International's Georgia branch had this to report about the way the pre-election campaign is being conducted in Georgia:

"Since the announcement of early elections, the ruling party has introduced a number of social initiatives, including increased pensions, increased salaries for teachers, and one-time vouchers for socially vulnerable groups.  These new initiatives were not foreseen in either 2007 budget or 2008 draft budget. ...

"Intimidation has been a significant problem in the regions.  Citizens have reported that public officials are announcing that voting will not be confidential and that there will be cameras placed inside voting booths.  Citizens have also said that ruling party officials are collecting copies of IDs without offering any explanation for their use.  Opposition parties have reported difficulties in opening regional headquarters and public servants that support opposition parties have been threatened with dismissal if they publicly support the opposition."

Sounds pretty similar to the United Russia playbook. And as we can see from the Duma results, it works! 

Nikolai! Georgia was always more democratic than Russia. In Soviet time and after its demise. There is free media (not only Imedi since 12 of this month). There is very strong civil society. You will see. The conclusion of OSCE will be "free and fair election". First: there is free media. Second: the election commission is made up of 6 opposition memebers and 7 of government but all decisions will be made by 2/3. third: There are more than 300 Observers only from OSCE (in contrast to Russia, nobody from the western countries need any visum) fourth: There is television watchdog leading by Adam Michnik and other prominent people, they oversee how free press work. Saakashvili made many inacceptable mistakes, but Georgia is now back on democratic track. As much as I know, You don't understand and speak georgian. But if you look of press coverage of very popular rustavi 2 tv. (there is no comparison with russian tv, in no way) Coverage includes all statements of the opposition. And it was opposition politicians who refused to appear on rustavi 2 because officials on their side refused to appear on imedi and kavkasioni tv (another opposition tv). But now after Imedi is back, both sides are ready to cooperate. Georgia has many problems, but look to Romania, Bulgaria, Ungarn. You and Simes are very biased towards Russia. You practisize, as many in soviet years "love from distance". You see Georgia as you want to see not as it really is.

This isn't Nik's quotes, its Transparency International making these conclusions. Complain to them.

And your line about how fair the media is sounds like Nick Petro's flacking about how Russian opposition gets so much tv time prior to elections and lost because they are incompetent.

I want so say one thing: There is no comparison how democratic and tolerant are Georgia and Russia. Every word I wrote is true und everyone can verify it. Look
you can see all news clips and you can see not only how pluralistic und how every political party can articulate its views, but how high is niveau of journalistic. Condi Rice compared russian television with soviet of the end of 1970s. and it is true. Now about Gvosdev, He and Dmitri Simes have very clear political line: Russia may be not democratic, but we must cooperate with it at the cost of the Ukraina, Georgia and other former Soviet Republics. They design situation, where in the world there are very bad guys: Iran, Taliban, Al-Quida usw. So like the cooperation in world war 2 with uncle Joe, its time to cooperate with less worse bad guy Putin. And this cooperation includes that washington let Russia to swallow Georgia, Ukraina and others. Georgia is not democracy, it's not worth to defense, let it fall. He, Simes and Lieven compares Georgia with Russia, Pakistan and others. I can only laugh about it. The good news is nobody listen to them. There is nobody in congress or administation who takes their advice seriosly. And will not be if democrats come to power. Saakashvili and whoever can not undermine pluralistic and democratic spirit in Georgia.
If nobody is listening, then why bother posting?
If Georgia was such a tolerant democracy even in Soviet times, why did she fall apart at the first opportunity? BTW, many of Russia's current troubles are due to that Georgian gangster and the the clannish ways he brought with him. He's still idolized in democratic Georgia, I hear.
Nick, in the end, who cares? Whether elections in Georgia, Russia, anywhere else are democratic or not? The powerful interests don't care.

--"You're not naive enough to think we're living in a democracy, are you sport?" Gordon Gecko to Bud Fox, Wall Street
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?