Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

A Bad Day For Georgia's Ruling Party

Oooh dear, Wednesday has been quite an eventful day in Georgian politics. Defections, Looney Left-Wing accusations and an old fashioned fist-fight. Lets start with the most headline grabbing information; Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zourabichvili has been given the boot by Parliament. It's hardly surprising - legislators have been on her back for months now, however her exit was certainly memorable:

Thirty minutes earlier before this announcement of the Prime Minister, when the Foreign Minister’s resignation was not yet decided, Salome Zourabichvili made a televised statement through the Rustavi 2 TV and urged the President to dissolve the Parliament and to call early elections.

French-born Salome Zourabichvili, who has never been engaged in the country’s internal political affairs, bitterly criticized the Parliament and the ruling party. She described “groundless attacks and accusations” against her as a well-planned campaign of representatives of a “neo-communism system” whose victory would mean an end to the country’s democratic development.

“If you believe in what I have said, if you think that the Georgian democracy is endangered, please let’s assemble at Tbilisi Hippodrome tomorrow [on October 20] at 1 pm just for five minutes. Of course this is not a call for a new revolution,” she stated addressing the population.

Sounds more like something one of the fringe opposition party leaders would say. Should be interesting to see just how many people do indeed 'join her' tomorrow. Anyone sense a defection to the opposition? (Although she does not have a seat in Parliament).

If Zourabichvili does defect she wont be the only one. One of the ruling party's legislators, Gia Tortladze, defected today, saying he wished to join the new opposition faction in parliament. This new group, which is aiming for registration in the coming days, claims to represent the 'true values' of the Rose Revolution. Its membership is still relatively small, but with a few more defections it could become a real force in parliament and chip away at the de facto one-party state currently in existance. The conspiracy theorists are out as always (this is Georgia), with many claiming the new bloc is nothing more than a Soros-backed puppet.

This opposition isn't coming just in parliament or on the streets. Oh no. Its being fought fist-by-fist, as Republican member of Ajara's autonomous Assembly, Murman Dumbadze, was admitted to Hospital. Apparently a Ruling Party member 'crowned' him after Dumbadze accused the governor of Guria, Zviad Ungiadze, of being a 'criminal'. If only British politics was this action packed........


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