Georgia's election: lesson and prospect Ghia Nodia 15 October 201227.10.2012

Georgia’s parliamentary elections held on 1 October 2012 have proved historic. For the first time in the history of a nation known for its record of turmoil and revolutions, power changed hands through the vote of the people. There were occasional scuffles and irregularities, and widely shared expectations of post-election disorder, but despite these the process proved essentially peaceful, free, and fair.
If this is unique for Georgia, it is also quite unusual for the broader post-Soviet space. True, the rulers here almost never transfer power to their political opponents, but when such a thing happens it is linked to a major upheaval. This was the case in Moldova in 2009, when protests against the election result included large rallies and even the storming of parliament, and in Ukraine in 2010 when the incumbent Viktor Yushchenko yielded power to Victor Yanukovich following the presidential election.

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