by Eka Janashia (02/20/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
In mid-February, EU officials issued a warning to Tbilisi that the EU’s Association Agreement with Georgia, including visa liberalization and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement, might not be signed at the upcoming Eastern Partnership (EaP) Vilnius Summit in November 2013.
GEORGIAN PM IVANISHVILI STRIPS DEFENSE MINISTER ALASANIA OF VICE PM POST
by Eka Janashia (02/06/2013 issue of the CACI Analyst)
Georgia’s Defense Minister and the leader of the Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) Irakli Alasania, one of the six parties constituting the Georgian Dream (GD) collation, has dismissed speculations over the possibility of the GD’s collapse after his February 2 meeting with Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili. The first signs of uncertainty emerged on January 22 when Alasania stated on the Georgian Public Broadcaster’s political talk show Accents that he had “tense” talks with PM over the upcoming October presidential elections. Ivanishvili’s concerns were prompted by the fact that the OGFD’s discussions over the presidential candidacy were not synchronized with the GD, Alasania said, adding that “I agree fully with him that the presidential candidate should be agreed with the coalition and agreed with the coalition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili.”
By Georgiy Voloshin (11/28/2012 issue of the CACI Analyst)
On November 21, the local prosecutor's office of Kazakhstan's Almaty region officially requested the provincial court to order an administrative closure of over forty print and online media outlets, including the Russian-language Respublika web-portal and the popular Vzglyad newspaper. The complaint also included the names of two television channels (K-Plus and Stan.tv) whose frequent reporting on Kazakhstan's domestic politics are widely considered as the most outspoken source of criticism of the country's President Nursultan Nazarbayev and his government, especially after the December 2011 bloody events in Zhanaozen.
Following the parliamentary elections and Bidzina Ivanishvili's installation as Prime Minister, Georgia has undergone a series of arrests of former high government officials and members of the security establishment. While the now ruling coalition Georgian Dream (GD) promised during the election campaign that it would prosecute alleged misdeeds of the former government, the actions also carry the signs of a politically motivated campaign to weaken the former ruling party. While the case can be made that certain practices of the previous government should be investigated and prosecuted, the pattern of arrests risks damaging Georgia's relations with international partners as well as its domestic development process.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with Johns Hopkins University's Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst brings cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.