GSAC Election Analysis

Our Reality – When The Weeds Blossom

By Giorgi Targamadze | Edited by Veronika Malinboym #EXPERT'S OPINION

Anyone with at least some experience in gardening is well aware that it’s not enough to weed out the garden once and for all. In order to prevent weeds from draining out the plant’s vital resources, it is crucial to pay continuous attention to them. Before the weeds grow out, they must constantly be rooted out, as in failing to do so one will see that the return of weeds will merely be a question of time.

Similarly to the struggle against the weeds on the garden bed, the struggle against the world of “thieves in law” and criminal mentality is a continuous process. Previous governments were, indeed, persistent in their methods, though usually using illicit tools. Their efforts have significantly weakened the positions of the criminal circles within the country – many ended up in jail, some escaped abroad, while the remaining few have gone into hiding.  For a while, it felt like the criminal subculture has left Georgia once and for all. However, in reality, it was far from being the case. First, “Georgia’s Dream” government stopped countering criminal elements within Georgian society, and then began using criminal authorities returning to Georgia to achieve their own political goals. And once again Georgia was covered with the weeds associated with criminality, draining Georgian people, national institutions and the entire society.

Unfortunately, our reports turned out to be prophetic. Up until the day Shakarshvili’s tragedy occurred, we constantly talked about the repeated cases of Georgian citizens becoming victims of violence perpetuated by the “thieves in law” and the criminal world. The growth of criminality and the influence of criminal circles can easily be observed on various social media platforms. Facebook posts with a crime theme are by far the most popular and the most commented on. Moreover, the most aggressive comments are usually made by the representatives of criminal world. 

Another worrying example of the growing influence of the criminal world is a tragedy that occurred a few days ago in Poti, where a man was killed by orders of a “thief in law”, practically murdered in public. Moreover, before the victim was killed, his knees were shot, as a sign of punishment by the code of criminal world. The growth of the world of “thieves in law” and the criminal subculture is inseparable from the Soviet past, where the repressive governmental apparatus and “thieves in law” operated in close proximity to each other, yet each acted in their own interests. When the governing authority is morally bankrupt and serves false ideals and when corruption and lawlessness are the defining characteristic of the governmental apparatus, it then inevitably becomes an implacable enemy of its own citizens. Criminal authorities, who presented themselves to citizens as fearless knights, who challenge the ruling regime, were in fact used by the regime itself as a tool for controlling and punishing citizens.

We observe a similar picture in today’s Georgia, where the state has become a one man’s  household, independent institutions are close to non-existent, court and the national prosecution share little in common with the concepts of justice and fairness, and corruption and nepotism are an inseparable part of our daily lives. Gradually, we came to a complete stagnation, and Ivanishvili’s cult of personality has been brought by “Georgia’s Dream” to such a level that could make Soviet leaders jealous.

The current government has long given up on the main problem – occupied territories, the population living under occupation, and the harsh realities it has to put up with. The abductions of people committed by the occupying fores has long become a common occurrence, as an abduction of yet another man was reported today. According to the information we received, four inhabitants of Gali were drowned in Inguri, when they tried to return home by bypassing the closed bridge. So, the strengthening of thieves’ world’s positions in Georgia today should not surprise anyone. Founded on violence, the criminal mentality has penetrated everywhere, including politics.

“Criminal and radical opposition” – these words are used every day by leaders of the ruling party to target their political opponents. The fact that they, themselves, enjoy the support of an army of criminals in the polling stations does not bother the government authorities in the slightest. Coincidentally, it is the same governmental authorities that use the disguise of political parties to bring entire criminal groups into national politics.

Meanwhile, the number of citizens that died in unclear (and not so unclear) circumstances is growing every day, and after each high-profile case, the authorities have a standard respond ready: “Let’s wait for the results of the official investigation”. And we wait, we wait patiently for the results of the investigation of  Gavrilov’s night,  Machalikashvili’s case, Rafalyantz’s case, and many, many others. Today, Shakarshvili’s case was the newest addition to those pending cases, tomorrow there will be more… But we will not accept the “Let’s wait for the results of the investigation” response anymore.

Giorgi Targamadze, TV programme “Times” on Formula channel • ფორმულა

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