Georgia. The war against the Russian Federation in August 2008 cast its shadow over Georgia during the year. The opposition blamed President Micheil Saakashvili for the war, tens of thousands of refugees were homeless and a costly reconstruction awaited, while the effects of the international financial crisis also affected Georgia.
In January, Prime Minister Grigol Mgaloblisjvili resigned, according to his own statement for health reasons. However, contradictions were reported between him and Saakashvili, which would have led to regular fighting. This was denied by the president. Nikoloz “Nika” Gilauri, 33, former finance minister, was appointed new head of government.
According to countryaah, police marched against the Democratic Movement-United Georgia opposition party in March and arrested several members accused of weapons procurement. The party leader, former Speaker Nino Burdzjanadze, accused the regime of political persecution. Protests against the government followed and in April, about 60,000 people demonstrated demanding Saakashvili’s departure. The protests continued, and when the regime in May said it had unveiled a military coup attempt, with a murder plot against Saakashvili, the opposition saw it as an ingenious attempt to quell the protests. Violence followed in Tbilisi, where the police went hard against protesters who tried to free opposition activists from police arrests. In order to avoid further violence, the regime canceled the celebration of Independence Day in late May. Then about 50,000 people demonstrated and again demanded the departure of Saakashvili. The protests eventually ebbed out and the opposition appeared as divided and seemed to lose power.
In September, the EU noted in a delayed investigation report that Georgia started the war against the Russian Federation through its attack on South Ossetia in August 2008. At the same time, it was emphasized that the Russian Federation provoked Georgia for a long time. To support the post-war reconstruction and face the consequences of the country’s financial crisis, the World Bank in September pledged US $ 900 million in three-year loans.
The EU, the UN and the OSCE led talks between Georgia and the Russian Federation after the war. In February, the parties agreed on joint measures to be taken to prevent a new war on South Ossetia. But the tension increased during the spring, when NATO planned an exercise in Georgia. The Russian Federation called the exercise a provocation. At the same time, the Russian military was placed as a border guard at the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia against Georgia.
Negotiations between Georgia and the Russian Federation began in May but were unsuccessful. In June, the Russian Federation refused to extend the mandate of UN observers monitoring the ceasefire between Georgia and Abkhazia since 1993. Georgia protested in August against the Russian Federation’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin – a year after the war – and termed his visit as a provocation. In December, the outbreak republic held its first presidential election following recognition by the Russian Federation. The incumbent President Sergei Bagapsh is re-elected.
The opposition demands that the election be redone
Georgia holds elections. Complicated rules delay the composition of the new parliament, probably until the end of November, but both the opposition and the ruling Georgian Dream governing party claim to have won. A poll for the pro-government TV channel Imedi gives Georgian Dream 55 percent of the vote, while Mtavari TV supports the opposition and publishes a poll that gives the opposition alliance 52 percent. The next day, the electoral authority states that 99 percent of the votes have been counted, that Georgian Dream has received 48 percent support and that the opposition alliance dominated by the United National Movement has reached 27 percent. Many small parties pass the barrier to parliament. Opposition supporters demonstrate and demand that the election be rescheduled.
New university inaugurated
Ten days before the parliamentary elections, the new international university in Kutaisi opens, but it takes place on a very small scale in the middle of the pandemic with closed schools or distance learning. The new university is intended as a major investment on the initiative of the leader of the ruling Georgian Dream party, the oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, but delays of various kinds have led to the project being criticized and questioned.
Tense atmosphere before the election
The mood in Georgia is worrying, according to a report ahead of the October 31 parliamentary elections from the OSCE Bureau for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which is sending out election observers. Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
Many businessmen among candidates
In this autumn’s parliamentary elections, 30 members will be appointed by majority vote and 120 proportionally, from party lists. Transparency International Georgia has examined the candidates who represent the parties in majority constituencies and almost half are business leaders or company owners. This is especially true of Georgian Dream (19 out of 30 candidates). Georgian Dream is also the party that has spent the most money on TV commercials.
Armored vehicles are now manufactured in Georgia
The Georgian Armed Forces uses almost 40 armored vehicles manufactured in the country. Georgian media state that this is the first time the military has access to domestic vehicles.