“Conversion of Russia” Update:
One-Party Rule Returns to Georgia
by Christopher A. Ferrara
The Republic of Georgia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union until the supposed “fall of communism” in 1991. Since the “fall of communism”, however, Russian military bases have remained and the people of Georgia have no real control over their own territory.
We were supposed to have witnessed a great triumph for democracy in Georgia in November 1993, after blatant attempts by the government to manipulate “free elections” led to public protests followed by the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze.
All for show, all for show. Georgia remains a one-party state under the thumb of Vladimir Putin. According to a report by British Helsinki Human Rights Group (BHHRG), the Georgian presidential election of January 4, 2004 was a total sham: “BHHRG sent observers to the republic of Georgia to monitor the conduct of the presidential election held on 4th January 2004. … Based on their observations, BHHRG concluded that the official figure given by the Central Election Commission for the turnout 83% was hugely inflated … [T]here was very little evidence that an election was taking place at all. … BHHRG’s observers were thus unable to find any polling stations on their own, and had to ask the district election commission — in a former Internet café, also exhibiting no external indications of its identity — for help.”
What a joke. But then, why bother with a real election when there was no real alternative to the candidacy of Mikheil Saakashvili? And who is he? Why, none other than Eduard Shevardnadze’s ex-Justice Minister! As BHHRG reports: “Only posters showing Mr. Saakashvili’s face … were visible. BHHRG’s observers failed to see any posters, banners or advertisements for any other candidates as they observed the poll on 4th January. Saakashvili even addressed the nation on the eve of polling, urging people to vote even though campaigning had officially ended — a presidential prerogative exercised by his ousted predecessor in 1992, 1995 and 2000.”
BHHRG’s report laments that “Western observers ignored this reversion to a Shevardnadze-style bogus election. According to the latest figures, Mr. Saakashvili has received almost 97% of the votes — higher even than the 91% awarded to Shevardnadze when he ran unopposed in 1992!”
BHHRG concludes that “the presidential elections on 4th January, 2004, marked a significant step backward for participatory democracy in Georgia. … Western diplomats and media may have forgotten how gushing they were in tribute to Mr. Shevardnadze’s similar triumphs in 1992 and 1995, or how confident they were that reform was finally on track and corruption and poverty about to be tackled — but to many Georgians the euphoria over Mr. Saakashvili’s tainted victory will be eerily reminiscent of past elections endorsed by … the diplomatic corps and Western journalists.”
No doubt the Fatima revisionists would join the useful idiots of the Western press corps in their praise of the rise of “democracy” in Georgia. But as Mr. Putin reorganizes Russia along neo-Stalinist lines and the puppet regime in Georgia reverts to one-party rule, anyone with any sense can see what is happening. Once again the West has been duped by a Russian “opening to the world” followed by a slamming of the door in our faces. Yet the Fatima revisionists go on with their nonsense about Russia’s conversion, continuing to insist that Russia was consecrated in 1984 — in a ceremony that did not even mention the place. Shame on them.