President Michel met with Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili
Washington and Tbilisi draw parallels between events in the two countries
Georgia supports the United States and believes in a strong America – the country that is the leader of the democratic world. This is how Georgian politicians reacted to the riots in Washington.
“For thirty years now, the United States has been supporting Georgia’s path to freedom and democracy. For us, the United States is an example to follow. Despite yesterday’s troubling scenes, amid violence, American institutions have been able to reaffirm their strength and resilience. Georgia needs a strong America as the leader of the democratic world “, – wrote the President of Georgia Salome Zurabishvili January 7 on Twitter.
At the same time, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia expressed “full support and solidarity” to the strategic partner and wrote on Twitter that “an attack on state institutions is unacceptable.”.
“We believe in the power of democracy in the United States,” Gakharia said.
Opposition politicians have also declared their support for the United States and expressed confidence that the United States will remain the “leader of the free world” and will continue to support the independence of the Georgian people..
Peaceful transfer of power
The events of 2012 were cited in the country’s parliament as an example of the role that the United States plays in the democratic development of Georgia. Senator remembered this when speaking in Congress Gene Shaheen (Jeanne Shaheen), who in connection with the unrest in the Capitol spoke about how she witnessed the transfer of power in Georgia when the party of the incumbent President Mikheil Saakashvili’s United National Movement lost the elections to the Georgian Dream, a party founded by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
According to Georgian Dream, by order of Mikhail Saakashvili, special forces were mobilized across Georgia at that time, and that, having lost, Saakashvili allegedly intended to “act anti-state” in order to retain power by force. The peaceful transfer of power in Georgia in 2012 became possible only thanks to the intervention of the United States and Georgia’s European partners, the ruling party said..
“Only with the assistance of our American and European friends, Saakashvili was forced to surrender power. It was very important to remember this, including in order to assess the current processes in our country, ”one of the leaders of the“ Georgian Dream ”said in an interview with the media. Irakli Kobakhidze.
Different interpretations of the same story
As Senator Jean Shaheen noted in a joint hearing in Congress on January 6, she and fellow Senator James Risch (James Risch) were in Georgia in 2012 as election observers.
“There were fears in the country that Saakashvili would not give up power, and that this would lead to violence, putting an end to the democratic reforms that were taking place in this state. On the second day after the elections, Senator Rish and I visited Saakashvili to convince him of the need to transfer power. I remember very well the visit to his house. We said that the basis of democracy, for the establishment of which he, as President of Georgia, worked hard for eight years, is the peaceful transfer of power through elections. President Saakashvili listened to us and peacefully resigned from power “, – reminded Senator Shahin.
Himself Mikhail Saakashvili recalls the visit of Senators Shahin and Risha in a different context. As he stated on November 7, the senators came to visit him after the 2012 elections to “thank him for the fact that everything went so peacefully.”.
“They came to say thank you. I said, did anyone doubt that it could have been otherwise? After that, a few weeks later in Phoenix (Arizona), I saw Vice President Biden, McCain invited us to visit him … He told me: “You are the George Washington of Eastern Europe. George Washington was a man who … most of Congress offered to declare himself king and remain the ruler of America forever, he also said that America is a republic, and I will never be a permanent ruler, I, as president, limit my term and leave out of power ”. This is the philosophy of the United States, according to which the country does not belong to anyone, the president belongs to his country, I have a similar position, “Saakashvili said in an interview with Georgian media..
Riots in the Capitol and “Gavrilovskaya night”
Tbilisi also noted one more similarity between the latest events in Washington and the events of the recent political history of Georgia. If Senator Shahin recalled the story of the peaceful transfer of power, then the Capitol incident to the executive secretary of the Georgian Dream Irakli Kobakhidze reminded the protest in Tbilisi on June 20, 2019, known in the media as “Gavrilov’s Night”.
“Then, too, the assault on democratic institutions was carried out and a very heavy attack on law enforcement agencies. Important statements were made by senior American politicians, including the former president, current congressmen and senators. These are very important and noteworthy statements for us. This suggests that any attack on democratic institutions must be strictly assessed both in the United States and in Georgia and in any other country. This should be taken into account by the Georgian radical opposition, which periodically expresses such intentions, “Kobakhidze said..
Recall that Sergei Gavrilov, a member of the Russian Communist Party, head of the State Duma Committee for the Development of Civil Society, found himself at the center of a scandal that caused large-scale anti-government protests in Georgia and plunged Russian-Georgian relations into yet another crisis. On June 20, 2019, footage of a Russian deputy in the chair of the speaker of the Georgian parliament and his address to delegates in Russian caused a wave of indignation in the Georgian public. The conference was interrupted, and the Russian delegation, under the protection of law enforcement officers, left the country the same evening..
On the night of June 20-21, during the dispersal of a protest in Tbilisi, as a result of clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement officers, 240 people, including journalists, were injured and hospitalized. Authorities say they were forced to use force as the demonstrators intended to storm the parliament building, the opposition denies this.
Despite the fact that Russian officials called the protest actions, which lasted for several months, a manifestation of so-called “Russophobia”, in fact, after the speaker of the Georgian parliament resigned on June 21, 2019, the demands of the protesters in Tbilisi were focused only on domestic political issues..