Monday, January 07, 2008

"Essentially Democratic"

This appears to be the consensus opinion of the international observers regarding Georgia's presidential elections.

Good enough to put NATO membership back on track? Not clear at this juncture. Just as the monitors engaged in a bit of hedging in their reporting (juxtaposing the conclusion that it was a fair process with concern about shortcomings and deficiencies), my sense is that the members of the alliance will now begin to discuss among themselves a hedging strategy for Bucharest, not only for Georgia but also perhaps Ukraine: a kind of another "temporary" plan that puts off having to offer formal Membership Action Plans in place of continued "cooperation" that avoids making any final or binding committments, notwithstanding the clear preference of Georgian voters to join NATO.

I found the statement of the head of the delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Matyas Eorsi, puzzling: "Now it is up to the authorities to hear our criticisms and urgently respond to the significant shortcomings noted." Or what? What will happen? PACE at some point down the road will re-evaluate its assessment of Georgia in a fashion that would be negative for its aspirations for NATO membership? (And how does this square with the statement of Manfred Grund, from the German Christian Democrats, who said, "I have had the impression that the elections have been well prepared and that they are more or less following European normality.")

So I think what we will see is statements praising committment to further democratization combined with vague assurances about eventual inclusion in the Euro-Atlantic world.

NDI's statement is a wonderful hedge, too, Nick:

"Key aspects of this election were in line with democratic principles. But there were also flaws in the process."

So it could be white, but it could be black, too.
NATO has no reason to be present in Georgia.

Will an Englishman be willing to die to defend Georgia from Russia, Turkey, or Iran? Will an Italian?
Don't think they are willing to really die to preserve alliance in Afghanistan either.
From what I understand, the Georgian opposition has been less than fully free and fair itself, and their behavior has been closer to Hizballah's tactics in Lebanon, in terms of trying to shut down the state entirely for their own reasons. I've never been convinced that Saakashvili was a budding autocrat: I think Moscow is using the Orange Revolution frame to weaken an enemy.

My knowledge base is fairly shallow. A link to or post on Georgia's opposition movement would be interesting.
Failed to sign that comment.
Post a Comment

<< Home

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