Are South Ossetia and Abkhazia industrialized countries

Document part of: Georgia: difficult stabilization of a fragile nation

One year after its parliamentary approval, Shevardnadze founded his own political organization, the "Citizens' Union of Georgia"The party is not distinguished by a particular ideology, but is the" party of power ". It is largely based on the old national nomenclature and represents a pragmatic policy. Economically, it is pursuing a stabilization course in coordination with the international financial institutions. In terms of foreign policy, it seeks the inevitable compromise with Russia, but without completely sacrificing national sovereignty: the problem regions of Abkhazia, Ossetia and Ajaria are to remain Georgian, but minority rights are to be respected.

After the unsuccessful assassination attempt against him, Shevardnadze pursued his Presidential candidacy with a clever mix of carrot and stick. He took advantage of the wave of sympathy after the attack to eliminate or weaken some of the main adversaries, according to Jaba Issolani, the head of the "Mchedrioni", a private army that overthrew Gamsakhurdia and called Shevardnadze into the country. The heads of government of Russia and Turkey visited him during the election campaign. Shortly before the November elections, Shevardnadze reformed the currency by replacing the worthless coupon with the new lari, and increased a number of social benefits. He also made formal concessions to the minorities in the electoral process.

As a result, he scored 74.9% of the votes cast with a turnout of 68.3%. With only 23.7% of the vote, the "Citizens' Union" won 91 of the 150 list mandates and a total of 107 of the 235 seats in parliament, as all but three of the 54 candidate organizations failed to pass the 5% hurdle.

© Friedrich Ebert Foundation | technical support | net edition fes-library | March 1998