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.
On 13 February, female councillors from Armenia’s women-led opposition party Yerkir Tsirani were attacked, physically and sexually, during a Yerevan City Council session. The women were later blamed for the attack, and for ‘inappropriate behaviour’ in the council. While the women politicians’ actions were met with hostility from some, they have also sparked public resistance against gendered violence, and against the patriarchal political system that perpetuates it. [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.