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Different conclusions over the US state department report

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, April 20
Georgian society, the political establishment, ordinary people, analysts and media are all talking about the US State Department Report concerning human rights in Georgia. Some of the Georgian population oriented on western values noticed in this report the serious concern which was expressed by the US State Department over the situation in Georgia. The ruling authorities however do not agree and are challenging some assessments of the report. Some ruling power members even mention that the US State Department's opinion is in some part based on allegations from opposition forces.

The annual report from the US State Department has been published already for 35 years and it gives its opinion of the situation across the world, assessing 190 countries. Georgia is somewhere in the middle of the list. Among the various regimes assessed, Georgia received neither a very good nor a very bad review. There is room for improvement though, that much was made clear. US ambassador to Georgia John Bass thinks there have been some serious achievements but simultaneously there are some setbacks which should be overcome by the country. The general opinion of the US report on Georgia is that the Americans recommend to Georgians to implement changes within their country through participation in democratic institutions and through the voting box. In this concept, US officials are distancing themselves with those politicians in Georgia who speculate about revolutionary changes in Georgia.

Against this background, the negotiations concerning the amendment of the elections code between the 8 opposition parties and the ruling national movement party have reached deadlock and unfortunately it seems unlikely that the next elections will be completely fair and transparent. The Opposition 8 however thinks that as a result of pressure from the west, the ruling authorities would be forced to hold fair elections. US officials meanwhile repeatedly state that the elections code reform should yield some serious results. The question still remains whether these hints will be enough to force the Georgian leadership into making some concessions.

Some analysts think that with this report the US were warning the Georgian leadership but if the ruling power in Georgia manages to maintain its position and maintain stability in the country, the west will accept the situation. If Saakashvili managed to manipulate the elections but maintain the situation without people protesting in the streets, then the west will accept and forgive Saakashvili, thinks analyst Paata Zakareishvili.

Some demand mass protest actions for the revolution, others are focused on securing fair elections however it is very difficult to predict in which direction the situation will develop in the country. Some of the opposition are oriented on peaceful negotiations, improvement of the election environment and thus guaranteeing smooth change. The opposition 8 is not confident that such results could be achieved without people coming out in the streets. On the other hand the opposition is quite concerned whether it would manage to bring people out into the streets as the general mood of the population is frustration, disappointment and nihilism.

Some analysts think that this is not because there is no anger among the population about the current economic and social situation but mostly because the population is also not enamoured by any of the opposition options. However, some analysts suggest that such uncertainty and lack of leadership among the opposition could lead the population to the unorganized chaotic and therefore unpredictable moves which would become dangerous for the country. In this situation some inexperienced and irresponsible people could appear in the leading role of the mob and country would be swept into an unpredictable situation.