The “Rose Revolution” – Georgia Under New Leadership
When, after the rigged parliamentary elections on November 2, 2003, the government alliance »For a New Georgia«, founded in the same year, was declared the winner on November 20, 2003, the weeks of protests by the v. a. opposition to open riot led by M. Saakashvili ; on November 22, 2003, his supporters stormed the parliament in Tbilisi and forced a bloodless change of power through their “rose revolution” (so called because of the roses worn by some demonstrators). The President of Parliament, Nino Burdschanadze (* 1964), assumed executive powers of the President. On November 23, 2003, President Shevardnadze , isolated after the declaration of a state of emergency, declared with the mediation of the Russian Foreign Minister I. Ivanov his resignation. On November 25, 2003, the Supreme Court partially annulled the November election results (that is, the results obtained through proportional representation). Members of the parliament elected in 1999 met on the same day and set January 4, 2004 as the date for the early election of the new president; the interim leadership (supported by the United National Movement, the Burjanadze Democrats and the United Democrats led by Zurab Schwania [* 1963, † 2005]) agreed on Saakashvili as a common presidential candidate. With an overwhelming share of around 96% of the votes, he was elected President (inauguration on January 25, 2004).
According to abbreviationfinder, the new Georgian leadership was particularly confronted with the country’s economic plight and unsolved problems with the breakaway regions of Abkhazia, Ajaria and South Ossetia. After President Saakashvili had prevailed in the power struggle against the autocratic governor of Ajaria, Aslan Abashidze (* 1938) , and he resigned on May 6, 2004, Saakashvili tried to regain control of South Ossetia, but resolved by setting up a police checkpoint At the end of July 2004, fighting between Ossetian militias and Georgian forces broke out for the first time in ten years. Saakashviliannounced inter alia addressed a decisive fight against corruption and spoke out in favor of the integration of Georgia into the Euro-Atlantic structures (support from the USA) as well as a renewal of relations with Russia.
After the death of Prime Minister Schwania in February 2005, the previous Finance Minister Surab Nogaideli (* 1964) became his successor.
When mass protests in Tbilisi in November 2007 were directed against the leadership of President Saakashvili , whom the opposition accused of increasingly authoritarian politics, the police force the demonstrators to use and temporarily imposed a state of emergency. In the end, however, he resigned on November 25, 2007 and scheduled early presidential elections for January 5, 2008. Saakashvili decided this for himself in the first ballot (according to the official result with 53.5% of the votes cast); However, the opposition did not recognize the election result and called for a second round of elections at new mass demonstrations. After Nogaideli resigned as head of government, he became non- party in November 2007 Vladimer “Lado” Gurgenidze (* 1970) Prime Minister. The ruling United National Movement party headed by President Saakashvili emerged victorious from the parliamentary elections in May 2008 (119 out of 150 seats).
The “Caucasus War” and its consequences
The unsolved South Ossetia problem escalated into military conflicts in August 2008, which led to armed intervention by Russia (“Caucasus War”). Under French mediation, Russia and Georgia accepted a ceasefire, and later an EU peace plan. Russia recognized the state independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but this was not accepted internationally. Georgia withdrew from the Commonwealth of Independent States. The new Georgian head of government was the diplomat Grigol Mgaloblishvili (* 1973) on November 1, 2008. He resigned in February 2009 for health reasons. He was succeeded by the previous finance minister, Nikolos Gilauri(* 1975). In the final report of the Independent Commission of Inquiry into the conflict in Georgia in 2008, Saakashvili was assigned considerable complicity in the outbreak of the war in 2009. The mandate of the EU observer mission, which has been active since 2008, was extended for a further year in 2009, 2010 and 2011 respectively. Protests and demonstrations by the opposition were directed against Saakashvili’s policies. The UN observer mission in Georgia, established in 1993, ended in 2009. A constitutional revision in 2010 strengthened the rights of parliament and government at the expense of the head of state.
The tense relationship with Georgia. and Russia continued to be shaped in 2011/12 by the conflict over the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which were militarily controlled by Russia. At rallies at the end of May 2011, thousands called for the resignation of President Saakashvili , who the opposition accused of having an authoritarian leadership style. On the night of May 25-26, 2011, the security forces in Tbilisi cracked down on the demonstrators with brutal force. There were two dead, around 40 injured and dozens of arrests. The EU expressed concern about the incident. On June 30, 2012, Saakashvili appointed the previous Minister of the Interior Vano Merabishvili (* 1968) as the new head of government. That from the entrepreneur Bidzina Ivanishvili (* 1956) led opposition alliance »Georgian Dream« won the parliamentary elections on October 1, 2012 and won 85 of the 150 seats. The ruling United National Movement only had 65 seats. The constituent meeting of the parliament took place on October 21, 2012 in the newly built parliament building in Kutaisi. On October 25, 2012 B. Ivanishvili was elected Prime Minister there. In the presidential election on October 27, 2013, G. Margwelashvili , candidate of the »Georgian Dream« alliance, won the first ballot with 62.1% of the vote. On November 17, 2013 he was sworn in in the presidential office. He appointed I. Garibashvili to the new Prime Minister. On June 27, 2014, around a month earlier than planned against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, Georgia and the EU signed an association agreement at the EU summit in Brussels. In November 2014 Garibashvili dismissed Irakli Alasania (* 1973) , the pro-Western defense minister and chairman of the »Free Democrats« party. Foreign Minister Maja Pandschikidze (* 1960) then announced her resignation. Alasania’s party left the “Georgian Dream” government alliance. On December 23, 2015, Prime Minister I. Garibashvili surprisingly announced his resignation. On December 30, 2015, Parliament confirmed G. Kvirikashvili , the previous Foreign Minister, as his successor. Under the leadership of Kwirikashvili , the ruling »Georgian Dream« was able to win the parliamentary elections on 8./30. 10. Winning 115 of the 150 seats in parliament in 2016. The United National Movement had 27 seats. The pro-Russian Alliance of Patriots of Georgia won 6 seats. Kvirikashvili remained head of government. In June 2018, he resigned from office due to continued criticism of his government’s policies and a power struggle within the “Georgian Dream”.