Expert: Rallies in Georgia are signal to country's government

Politics Materials 25 May 2011 20:26 (UTC +04:00)
Expert: Rallies in Georgia are signal to country's government

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 25 /Trend, V.Zhavoronkova/

Despite that the protests in Georgia are unlikely to lead to a change of power in the country, the government of the republic should make conclusions from this situation, the Director of the Russia-Eurasia Center of the Council on Foreign Policy of Germany, Trend Expert Council Member Alexandr Rahr believes.

"It is difficult to tell whether the opposition of Georgia will achieve any political change in the country. Most likely, this will not happen, but naturally, the government should respond to such protests," Rahr told Trend over the phone from Berlin.

Georgian radical opposition is holding rallies demanding President Mikheil Saakashvili's resignation for five days already. Saakashvili's ex-associate, former defense minister Irakli Okruashvili, who is hiding from the Georgian justice abroad for several years, promised to come and help the Georgian opposition, but later he said he postponed his visit.

One of the leaders of the opposition, leader of the People's Assembly of Georgia Nino Burjanadze stated that she will not give up holding protests unless the current president of the republic resigns.

The expert said the demonstrations taking place in Georgia attract much attention in the West.
"It is a big surprise, since the situation in Georgia looked more or less stable in the eyes of the West," said Rahr.

He stressed if to analyze the figures, it is possible to make a conclusion that Georgia is developing quite successfully both in the fight against corruption and in addressing social crises, and in attracting investments into the country, at least, it always seemed.

The protests are apparently caused by strong dissatisfaction at the level of the middle class and poorer parts of the population, the analyst believes. Otherwise, the opposition would fail to organize these rallies, said Rahr.

"This tells that there is a problem that the government apparently can not solve and it may indicate that the gap between rich and poor people in Georgia is too large and that the situation has not much improved after the financial crisis," said analyst.

Rahr said that a signal to the government of Georgia must be the fact that it is not just a handful of protesters, "who came out, shouted and went home": the rallies become widespread.