Georgia’s ‘Mubarak’ Saakashvili threatened by revolution?

This video from Georgia is called Saakashvili should go to jail. Protests in Tbilisi.

From the Georgian International Media Centre:

The Wall Street Journal‘s “revolting index” on the risk of revolution in Georgia

Submitted by georgiamedia on Fri, 25/02/2011 – 18:48

Asked a month ago no one but the political wild men or women of the most die hard opposition parties would have suggested that there was the remotest possibility of a popular revolt in Georgia.

Asked today most would still agree that the prospects of a “day of rage” were low, but, even as Gadaffi appears to be about to drown in the blood he has shed, no one could quite rule it out any more.

Georgia has many of the symptoms if not yet the disease that infected Tunisia and Egypt – high inflation, widespread poverty and unemployment, authoritarian politics with some but limited toleration of the opposition and a mass media that no one trusts to tell the truth.

Therefore it should be no surprise that the Wall Street Journal‘s online “Source” blog puts Georgia at 18th in its “revolting index” of countries most likely to see a popular revolution. Egypt is 16th and Libya 13th. But Tunisia was 21st, some way below Georgia.

Of course, as the WSJ themselves say the “revolting index” is not scientific or predictive, just an interesting toy. It’s placement of the world’s biggest – and argumably most robust given the circumstances of mass poverty – democracy, India, at 14th illustrates the weakness: no one at all expects any mass revolt in India …. .

There are big strikes and anti government demonstrations in India right now.

But it ought to give the government in Tbilisi some pause for thought. Government actions – utility bills, transport fares, crack downs on informal traders and importers – and inactions – the failure to break up powerful economic monopolies – have all contributed to inflation and made life more difficult for those seeking to make a living at the margins of the economy. Perhaps now would be the time to ease off repression and have a more honest debate in society about the slow progress to modernisation.

As events in the Arab world are daily showing, offering concessions when you are already on the rack is no way to stop a revolt.

If the people of Georgia in a grassroots movement from below would manage to topple their “Mubarak”, strongman Saakashvili, that would be a genuine revolution. Contrary to the so called “rose revolution” which brought Saakashvili to power, and which happened because of a mixture of real grievances about the pre-Saakashvili administration and money and coaching by the CIA and similar not really democratic sides.

Georgian government refuses any compromise with opposition over economy, justice or elections: here.

USA: Let’s bring Cairo & Madison 2 our own state capitols, Feb 26! Here.

9 thoughts on “Georgia’s ‘Mubarak’ Saakashvili threatened by revolution?

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