By Erik Davtyan
October 3rd, the CACI Analyst
On September 5, Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, along with Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Energy Kakha Kaladze, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs David Dondua, paid a one-day visit to Yerevan. Kvirikashvili has previously visited Armenia as Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, however this was his first official visit after he became Prime Minister in December 2015. The visit came nearly a month before parliamentary elections in Georgia, which are set for October 8. Less than one week before, Kvirikashvili made a similar visit to Azerbaijan. During both visits, the Georgian delegation was composed of exactly the same level of representatives, although another deputy foreign minister was present in Azerbaijan – indicating the importance that Georgian authorities attach to demonstrating a balanced policy towards its two neighbor states.
By Eka Janashia
September 29th, the CACI Analyst
In the beginning of September, Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) registered 23 parties and 6 electoral blocs to run in the October 8 parliamentary elections.
They will contest for 77 seats via a proportional party-list system and must clear the 5 percent threshold in the nationwide popular vote to enter the 150-member Parliament. The remaining 73 seats are allocated for single-member districts under a majoritarian system, where majoritarian MPs have to win over 50 percent of the votes in order to win outright in the first round or compete in a second round after 25 days.
By Arslan Sabyrbekov
July 19th, the CACI Analyst
Four parliamentary factions have recently offered to conduct a constitutional referendum in fall 2016, together with elections to the local municipal councils. Holding a nationwide referendum requires the passage of a special law by two thirds of the parliamentarians. Without much public deliberation, the law has already passed its first reading, with second and third readings scheduled to take place in September. The upcoming referendum will be the sixth ever since the adoption of the first constitution in 1993.
By Almaz Rza
July 12th, the CACI Analyst
“Sagol Azerbaijan,” German Formula 1 driver for the Mercedes team Nico Rosberg tweeted on June 20. The leader of the 2016 F1 season thanked the host country of the F1 Grand Prix of Europe. Rosberg collected his 19th Grand Prix win with Ferrari’s Seb Vettel in second and Force India’s Sergio Perez third.
This June, the Baku City Circuit, a street track in Azerbaijan, saw F1 cars thunder for the very first time. A six-kilometer track with 20 turns is the latest design of Herman Tilke, a 61-year-old German engineer, who has designed every new F1 venue since the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia in 1999 and also redesigned several older tracks. Like Monaco’s, the Baku track is built through the existing streets of a seaside city but unlike Monaco, which hosted its first race in 1929, the Baku track has a long straight (2.2 kilometers along the seaside boulevard) for overtaking.
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.