Leaders from the ruling Georgian Dream party have criticised American rights watchdog Freedom House, for suggesting democracy declined in the country in 2017. ‘Absurd, unobjective and amusing’ were some of the words PM Giorgi Kvirikashvili and Parliament chairman Irakli Kobakhidze used to describe their 2018 Nations in Transit report, which said informal governance was ‘one of the key features of GD’s rule’. [Read more…]
Democracy declines in the Caucasus with ‘half-hearted reforms’ in Georgia, improper investigation of high-level corruption in Armenia, ‘deeply entrenched’ authoritarianism in Azerbaijan, and a crackdown on queer people in the North Caucasus, according to American right group Freedom House’s Nations in Transit 2018 report. [Read more…]
The head of the Derbent District administration in Daghestan, Magomed Dzhelilov, has been arrested on suspicion of ‘abuse of power’, and a criminal case has been launched against him.
Detentions of officials in Daghestan are continuing. According to a researcher at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), Vadim Mukhanov, the crackdown is aimed at strengthening Moscow’s power in the region and are not indicative of systemic changes.
A member of the Tbilisi City Council (sakrebulo) has been arrested on corruption charges, and may face 7–11 years of jail. Temur Gorgadze, a majoritarian councillor from Krtsanisi District for Georgian Dream, was arrested on 28 February.
The Mayor of Makhachkala, Musa Musayev, has been arrested on corruption charges, and is being held in a temporary detention facility. According to the prosecution, he gave away city land to a commercial firm worth ₽80 million ($1.4 million).
Transparency International Georgia (TI) has urged the state audit and prosecutor's offices to identify party donations with high risk of political corruption. [Read more…]
On 31 October, several dozen Daghestani lorry drivers gathered at the customs post on the Azerbaijani border demanding an apology for insults directed at them by a Daghestani customs officer.
Hundreds of people gathered in Baku on 7 October to protest against state corruption. The rally was organised by the National Council of Democratic Forces — an umbrella group consisting of several of Azerbaijan’s opposition groups. [Read more…]
A string of changes in how identity documents are issued has left residents of Abkhazia’s Gali District feeling frustrated and powerless. OC Media spoke to a number of locals, who complained that widespread corruption and discrimination makes them feel unwelcome in their homeland.