Nearly five years after the Azerbaijani government began a renewed crackdown on dissenting voices, the environment remains hostile for opposition parties. The authorities create the semblance of a multi-party system by financing political parties whose role is to function as the opposition while maintaining the status quo. Some fear that suppressing genuine opposition and excluding it from the political arena will lead to more radical forms of activism, which could ultimately be damaging for the state.
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…]
Georgia’s political elites are engaged in heated debates over a number of issues they claim are of existential importance to the country. These circuses, in which different interest groups fight for their own elitist agendas, has very little relation to the views and needs of ordinary Georgians.