November 23, 2003 by AK
Georgia: Shevardnadze is out, who’s in?
I swear I was going to comment on Aaron Haspel‘s poetical philippics. As Bismarck said, Russians harness slowly but ride fast. My problem is, preparations sometimes make action impossible.
The bottom line is, while I was procrastinating, a revolution happened in Georgia. President Shevardnadze resigned, and opposition politician/speaker of the parliament Nino Burjanadze was proclaimed acting president, as the constitution requires. (Nee-NAW, a female name similar to Nina.) The trouble started after Shevardnadze, according to the opposition, falsified the results of a parliamentary election. The opposition initiated peaceful but forceful rallies in the streets of Tbilisi, which culminated in the protesters seizing the parliament building. Shevardnadze narrowly escaped the wrath of his opponents. There were no shots fired or blood drawn in the process, according to all reports I have seen. Russia’s Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, flew in to mediate; he met with the opposition leaders and Shevardnadze, and soon enough the old president called it quits.
Interestingly, the NYT first reported the news under the title (quoting by memory) Shevardnadze Quits After Russian Mediation Fails. As far as there has been no bloodshed, I think it was more of a success. For updates, check these two blogs, Living with Caucasians (a Fulbright scholar writing from Georgia) and, of course, Cinderella Bloggerfeller.
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