Georgia has entered an election year with an extremely polarized political environment. In 2019, the ruling Georgian Dream party promised and advertised a move to a proportional electoral system with a zero threshold for parliamentary representation. Its reversal of this decision in November caused significant political turmoil, and led a significant pro-Western fraction to leave the ruling party. The otherwise fractured opposition is now consolidated in its demand for electoral reforms, putting the legitimacy of the election process in question. At several earlier times, the U.S. has taken a role to assist Georgia in difficult times like this. Could it do so again? Should it?
Michael Carpenter, Managing Director, Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement
Ambassador Richard Miles, Former US Ambassador to Georgia
Anthony C. Bowyer, Europe & Eurasia Advisor, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES)
Moderator: Svante Cornell, Director, Central Asia-Caucasus Institute at AFPC
Where: American Foreign Policy Council: 509 C Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
When: Tuesday, February 18, 2020 from 2:00 - 3:45 pm
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By Svante E. Cornell, Per Eklund, Mamuka Tsereteli
October 2016, pp. 21
Over the last several years a gradual politicization of justice in Georgia has put into question the country’s democratization progress. Most attention has centered on the judicial campaign launched beginning in late 2012 against a number of former government officials, including former President Mikheil Saakashvili, who has been ordered to pre-trial detention in absentia. This policy of selective justice has resulted in domestic as well as international criticism and raises important questions with regard to the independence of the judicial structures and, overall, the current state of the rule of law in Georgia.This paper examines the question of the politicization of justice in light of two key issues: first, the degree to which the prosecution is under the influence of the executive; and second, whether arrests of key individuals are purely punitive, or seek to weaken political opponents.