Why Georgia Can See New Color Revolution?
About a year ago there were presidential elections in Georgia which drew a line after 10 years of Michael Saakashvili and his "United National Movement" political party's rule. But after his resignation, the Georgian public procurator's office got some questions to the former president: old criminal cases, mysterious murder of former Prime-Minister Z. Zhvaniya, political repressions, excess of powers etc.
This is why Saakashvili doesn't grow grapes at his huge estate in Eastern Georgia, but is on the lam criticizing Russia in Western mass media on the Ukrainian crisis at the same time.
Such behavior allows him to stay in the limelight and to get some money from interested parties. For example, from the United States interested in any criticism of Vladimir Putin and Russia which, despite some contradictions, maintains cultural, humanitarian and economic relations with Georgia.
Experts estimate "decade of Saakashvili" differently. One say he managed to boost the Georgian economy and the standards of living, others say all the changes in Georgia are "facade", and the economy grew because of huge credits from the USA. Anyway, this period of Georgian history can be called indicative, but negative.
Positive actions like anti-corruption drive took place in the beginning of Saakashvili's rule, but negative prevail anyway.
Corruption affected elite, mass media met strict censorship, opposition channels were captured and law-enforcement agencies became some kind of "Department of Love" from J. Orwell's "1984". It means that anyone, who didn't agree with the party's general political program, anywhere and anytime could have been put into a black car and taken to an unknown place. Mostly "thanks" to it, today Georgia is in the top of the list of number of prisoners.
There is no doubt that freedom-loving and emotional Georgians didn't like this situation, and in November 2007 a wave of demonstrations against Saakashvili crossed the country. They were roughly suppressed by the police. Activists from "Human Rights Watch" wrote that "Saakashvili crossed the line he couldn't cross when police beat up peaceful demonstrators and terrorized journalists." Police used different tools: from rubber bullets and water-cannons to US-made acoustic cannons and poison gases. Over 600 persons were taken to hospitals at that time.
In 2008 Georgia lost Abkhazia and South Ossetia - the fact the Georgians never forgave Saakashvili for. In August 2008, after his order and with the support of the USA the Georgian army launched an operation with a cynical codename "Clear field" which meant that the town Tskhinvali was to be destroyed, all the Ossetians living there - to be eliminated and at the same time the military camp of Russian peacekeepers at the outskirt of the town - to be destroyed.
A large army unit with tanks, air force and artillery was set for this mission. It faced small South-Ossetian half-voluntary army. The war lasted about a week, and, thanks to timely interference of the Russian army which came to protect peacekeepers and lots of Ossetians - Russian citizens, ended in a total defeat of the Georgian army.
At the same time Michael Saakashvili tried to launch military actions in Abkhazia which ended the same way practically immediately after their start. Finally, Russia recognized the independence of these two former Georgian autonomous areas; Georgia lost 20 percent of its territory, which it recognized occupied.
After these events the rating of Saakashvili and his party "United National Movement" went on falling. People were unsatisfied with the pro-Western course of power, which ended in May, 2011 into mass demonstrations of the opposition which demanded the president's resignation and early elections. Right before the Independence Day on the night of May, 25 Saakashvili ordered the police to use water-cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas to drive the demonstration off. Georgian police beat people severely right near the parliament at the Rustavelli Avenue - hundreds of photos and videos on the Internet are evidences of this fact. At that time more than 200 were injured, three persons died.
Another display of "democracy" by the regime of Saakashvili caused forming of strong opposition leaded by billionaire B.Ivanishvili, who formed the party "Georgian dream", won the parliamentary elections and got a parliamentary majority a year and a half after the protests in May 2011.
Lots of campaign promises, orientation to criminal prosecutions of former Saakashvili's teammates and no US-financial injections played a nasty trick on "Georgian dream". Population of Georgia gradually gets disappointed in party in power and its political figures. At the same time the government moved to Euro-Atlantic integration, particularly - to NATO membership.
The opposition "United National Movement" gets back its positions and announces openly its intentions to organize the parliamentary coup. The other day ex-deputy Soso Shatberashvili in his interview for "Quira" said Saakashvili had about 1 million laris and is ready to organize such events this autumn.
This situation is not fantastic at all, because the Georgian public procurator's office's desire to "talk" to Saakashvili. So, ex-president can be back to the country only during a new revolution. The example of Ukraine proves that Maidan can be organized anytime if you have money.