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” He added: ”I canada goose uk express my respect toward the

Letting democracy work in Georgia

canada goose coats In a nationally televised address delivered while the Central Election Commission was still counting votes, Saakashvili conceded that an opposition canada goose parka uk coalition headed by an eccentric billionaire had won Monday’s national election and captured a majority in parliament. He then promised to allow the ”Georgian Dream” movement to appoint a new cabinet and prime minister even though, under a phased in constitutional reform, the presidency will retain executive power until Saakashvili’s term expires official canada goose outlet a year from now. canada goose coats

canada goose clearance sale ”You know that the views of this [opposition] coalition were and still are fundamentally unacceptable for me,” Saakashvili said in canada goose outlet uk his three minute address. ”There are very deep differences between us, canada goose outlet online store and we believe that their views are extremely wrong. But democracy works in a way that the Georgian people canada goose outlet ottawa make decisions canada goose outlet usa by majority.” He added: ”I canada goose uk express my respect toward the decision of the majority participating in the elections.” canada goose clearance sale

Canada Goose Parka For the Eurasian region composed of former republics of buy canada goose uk the Soviet Union, that was a landmark statement. Almost all elections in this part of the world in the past two decades have been rigged and sometimes violent affairs in which the losers never accept defeat, much canada goose outlet online store review less publicly acknowledge it. The foremost practitioner of this pseudo democracy is Saakashvili’s nemesis, Vladimir Putin, who ordered an invasion of Georgia in canada goose jacket outlet 2008 in an attempt to topple the pro Western government and now is surely toasting its defeat. Canada Goose Parka

cheap Canada Goose Most Georgians give Saakashvili credit for restoring order in a country on the verge of becoming a failed state, modernizing the economy, greatly reducing corruption and attracting billions in foreign investment. But in recent years his opponents, as well as the canada goose outlet toronto location lobbyists they hired in Washington, argued that he was becoming another Putin persecuting his opponents, limiting media freedom and plotting to avoid term limits by becoming prime minister canada goose outlet florida in the new parliamentary system. cheap Canada Goose

canada goose The events of the past month Canada Goose Outlet should silence such talk. Saakashvili first reacted to the challenge of Bidzina Ivanishvili, who made his $6 billion fortune in Russia, by lashing out: The challenger was stripped of his citizenship and fined $45 million under election finance strictures that were rushed into law. But in the past several months Ivanishvili was allowed to spend freely, and cable networks were compelled by law to carry his television station. Two weeks ago, it broke a sensational story about torture in state prisons that dramatically changed the election; urban voters who had stuck with the government because they supported reforms turned on it when they learned it had failed to canada goose outlet store uk clean up that Soviet legacy. canada goose

Canada Goose online Saakashvili’s defeat was produced, in large part, canada goose outlet uk fake not by his autocratic ways but by his embrace of democratic institutions, from the independent media that pounced on the prison scandal to the tens of thousands of domestic and international monitors who were registered as election observers, making fraud virtually impossible. Now the question is canada goose outlet niagara falls whether his successors will expand on the liberal political foundation he laid or dismantle it, as canada goose outlet nyc happened in Putin’s Russia and more recently in Ukraine. Canada Goose online

Canada Goose Parka Ivanishvili is an enigmatic character, as I discovered when I met him Sunday in the palatial steel and glass pavilion he has constructed on canada goose outlet washington dc a hill overlooking Tbilisi. As he guided a group of journalists (brought here by the German Marshall Fund) around the grounds while chatting about his pet penguins, lemur and zebra, the trim, canada goose outlet online uk 56 year old oligarch prompted playful comparisons to the evil masterminds in James Bond films. Canada Goose Parka

Canada Goose Outlet In reality, Georgia’s new leader canada goose parka outlet appears eager to reach out to the same Western governments that Saakashvili assiduously courted starting with the United States. When I saw him briefly Monday night at his canada goose outlet in usa election headquarters after exit polls predicted his victory, he said his first foreign visit would be to Washington, because ”the first country, the first friend, is USA.” Moments later, he delivered a victory speech in which he thanked the crowd canada goose outlet online reviews of Washington based consultants in his campaign war room and predicted that Georgia will someday become a member of NATO. Canada Goose Outlet

canadian goose jacket Whether Ivanishvili will be as liberal minded as Saakashvili is another question. He bristled at probing questions from our group, wagging his finger and demanding to know where the queries came from. His coalition, held together by his own heavy spending, includes pro canada goose sale uk Western liberals but also a motley collection of nationalists and xenophobes. One candidate on canada goose jacket outlet uk his list promised to restore a statute of Stalin in his Georgian hometown of Gori. canadian goose jacket

cheap Canada Goose Georgia’s future and the hopes that democracy can begin to grow canada goose outlet miami in the former Soviet Union now depend on whether this unlikely movement can sustain and extend the economic and political reforms canada goose outlet boston that Saakashvili and his crowd of young technocrats began. Thanks to him, https://www.canadagoosejacket-outlet.ca we know what success will look like: a speech someday by Ivanishvili, accepting political defeat and reaffirming the democratic system cheap Canada Goose.