Strengthening Oversight of the Security Sector

Author
Erik Sportel (ed), Vasili Tchkoidze (ed)
Content Type
Working Paper
Institution
Centre for European Security Studies
Abstract
Since the 2003 Rose Revolution, Georgia has undertaken serious reforms, moving the country towards becoming a democracy and a market economy. Instead of proceeding at a steady pace, Georgia has chosen to take an accelerated path to reform. Since coming to office, the Saakashvili administration has underlined its ambition to bring Georgia into Euro-Atlantic structures. After an energetic start, Georgia ran into difficulties in late 2007 and 2008. During this period, the democratic credential s of the Saakashvili government were put to the test for the first time. The government was faced with massive public demonstrations, to which it res ponded in a heavy-handed fashion. The security forces attacked protesters, and the government declared a state of emergency, blaming the unrest on Russia. M any domestic and foreign observers feared that Georgia was abandoning the road to democracy. However, the state of emergency was soon lifted, and the government called an early presidential election. International observer s judged the election to be largely democratic, despite some irregularities, but opposition forces claimed that the president's results had been boosted by fraud. Mr Saakashvili won an absolute majority in the first round of polling. The subsequent parliamentary elections in the spring of 2008 gave the ruling United National Movement party a landslide victory. With 119 out of 150 seats, the party currently holds a two-thirds majority in parliament. The two major opposition parties (winning 17 and six seats respectively) refused to take their seats in parliament.
Topic
Security, Defense Policy, Democratization, Non-Governmental Organization
Political Geography
Europe, Caucasus