Four questions for Georgia in 2017

6 Jan 2017

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By Mariam Papidze

Economic Editor,6 Jan 2017 Tbilisi,Georgia

Political analyst Lincoln Mitchell published an op-ed on Georgia posing four key questions the country will have to face this year.

His four questions for Georgia in 2017 are:

  1. Can Georgia navigate the new global environment?
  2. Will Georgia move towards a multi-party political system?
  3. Can Georgia’s economy begin to deliver for ordinary Georgians?
  4. What about Abkhazia and South Ossetia?

Mitchell writes 2017 promises to be "an exciting and intriguing” one for Georgia.

However, "given how spectacularly wrong much of [his] political forecasting was in 2016, [he will not be] making any predictions for Georgia, or any other countries for the new year,” he explained.

Rather, wondering whether Georgia will move towards a multi - party political system in 2017, Mitchell writes: "The 2016 election was a triumph for the governing Georgian Dream (GD), and an equally resounding defeat for the opposition United National Movement (UNM), who had governed the country from 2004-12.

Moreover, that election was less an exercise in parties offering different ideas and visions, but one in which the UNM’s calls for regime change fell on deaf Georgian ears. As a result, the GD currently comfortably dominates Georgian politics; and the UNM appears to be in disarray. Thus, while Georgia is making progress in areas regarding freedom and democracy, it remains, in many respects, a one party system”.

Since the war in 2008, there have been few major flare-ups between Russia and Georgia, but numerous minor and medium sized clashes between the two countries. Abkhazia and South Ossetia have been at the centre, both symbolically and actually, of many of these. It is possible to see these conflicts as having been frozen since the war, but that is not accurate”, wrote Mitchell.

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