Misha’s guysPosted: 2012/09/26
No Lie Can Live Forever!
For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. (Mark 4:22)
DEMOCRACY – NOT AS MUCH “WHERE DID YOU COME FROM?”, BUT – “WHERE WOULD YOU GO?”
Many outstanding champions of democracy lived and struggled in dictatorships – Aug San Suu Kyi (Cambodia), Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (born and risen in South Africa), Vaclav Havel (Czechoslovakia), Nelson Mandela (South Africa)… Many brave and exemplary heroes of democracy are in countries like Iran, Egypt, China, etc. One can even say that it is easier to become an outstanding democrat whilst living outside established democracy, but trying to transforming country and society to be democratic. and Martin Luther King is another vivid example of that conclusion drawn.
On the other hand democratic country citizenship doesn’t ultimately guarantee a person being a democrat. Quite some tyrants and maniacs including Hitler and Anders Breivik have not been products of dictatorships or rogue states. And countries with established market economy sometimes produce the greatest swindlers, like Leeson, Medoff, Eberds or Kerviel…
What I am up to?
For 2012 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia, it may become the crucial issue how the election results will be legitimized. And Georgian society, likewise many other ex-USSR states is very dependent on what the West would say. What would US president Say, What would International organizations – UN, OSCE, Council of Europe and EU would say? What observatory missions, e.g. ODIHR, IRI, NDI, Transparency International would say, will they show a green card or a red one…
And that, – with a level of democratic principles and institutions and poor record of previous elections carried out in Georgia, – is understandable. Moreover, I would be strongly opposed to idea, that western watchdog eye from Georgia to be removed too soon…
But here comes the problem – who represents those institutions in Georgia? Who is the one which puts the stamp on certain reports and conclusions and how much an individual with possible suspicious ethical standards can influence a decision-making and judgment of the world-famous and respectful institution, or –even of the State he/she may represent.
I am going to discuss the case of two individuals – both US citizens, which could play a significant or even paramount role in forthcoming Georgian elections results acceptance. I will try to share my concerns with you, fellow Americans, why I think that something is wrong with the way these guys may drive a show in Georgia.
But first let go back a little and try to understand why persons like local office heads in Tbilisi might be crucial for 2012 elections legitimization.
CASES OF GAMSAKHURDIA AND “SHEVY”
First President of Georgia – Zviad Gamsakhurdia, was a well known dissident. That has served a bad job to him! After his sensational victory in 1990 elections, he expected a warm hug from western allies – US, UK and even NATO… But President Bush was then overwhelmed by nurturing Gorbatchov’s fading USSR, so Gamsakhurdia has got a diplomatic advice with bitter realpolitics – not to announce Independence. Georgian President had quite temper and coldly rejected that diplomatic suggestion. In response to non-delicate remarks from dissident-became-President George Bush senior said Gamsakhurdia was “marching against the mainstream”. That was a “labeling alarm”, as afterwards most EU countries hesitated to recognize Georgia as independent state (It was only Romania and very lately, Ukraine which did recognize Georgia during Gamsakhurdia’s ruling). Domestically Gamsakhurdia acted also as unpredictable and very inflexible politician and soon many of his former supporters left him, and some of the most powerful – Prime-Minister and Minister of Defense – started military coup. With obvious Russian interest behind the “putchists” and without any serious support from western states, Gamsakhurdia’s government soon failed, and even now many of his supporters, called Zviadists, blame US administration nearly equally to Russian leadership in that dramatic re-start of Georgian statehood. For quite big part of Georgian society it was indeed America’s non-acceptance which didn’t give Gamsakhurdia’s government chance to survive.
Eduard Shevardnadze, or “Shevy”, as he was known to Americans since being foreign minister of Soviet Union, was indeed a favorable leader of Georgia for US administrations. He had close ties with many “Grands” of US politics, like Reagan, Bush, Kissinger, Shultz, Baker… It was Shevy’s political experience, and his stance for democracy during Gorbatchov époque, his role in Germany’s reunification, in cease of Iron Curtain, and especially – a prediction of “GKChP putch”, which made Shevardnadze, despite of his Communist past and pure English skills, favorite of US political circles, either republican or democratic…
Starting after 1995, and especially since 1999, Shevy created system which one could call “democratic cleptocracy”. The system was totally corrupted, but somehow there was no monopoly on corruption – “Live and let others to live!”. At the same time, freedom of media and of opinion expression was acceptable. But while allowing some freedoms, Shevy developed a shrewd system of elections falsification (BTW, “wizards” of those falsifications Mikhail Machavariani and Khatuna Gogorishvili now faithfully serve Mikhail Saakashvili). In fact the only fair elections Georgia had been yet during communists – in 1990. West watched all those falsifications with eyes closed, or – half-closed. Shevy was good – understandable, pragmatic, enough democratic, NATO-oriented, oil/gas routes-providing, protecting western property and citizens, and since 1999 – Georgian army engaged in Train and Equip and other US-led military cooperation programs… There was one growing concern though – Georgian economy was stagnating due to nepotism and corruption, and there was lack of institutional reforms and of tax collection, with prominent deterioration of social services.
Situation has changed in 2003, a group of Young Reformers in the ruling party departed from Shevardnadze and have sent a signal to the West – “We will change this country! Defeat corruption, establish fully democratic state with developed institutions and flourishing market economy.” As the US administration then was promoting an idea of “color revolutions”, that group of youngsters got substantial support with trainings, money and political standby. US educated polyglot lawyer, with perfect knowledge of US system, PR-technologies and great charisma – Misha Saakashvili was one of them. The main message of Young Reformers: “If you won’t help us to come to power, Shevy will leave the country to Pro-Russian mini-Tsar of Adjara – Aslan Abashidze!”. The threat was real – getting older, Shevardnadze in fact was leaning more and more to Abashidze, which had Asian-type dictatorship established in Adjara.
With growing success of non-violent youth protest organization “Kmara” (“Enough” – copied Yugoslavian “Otpor”) and with incredible popular countrywide oppositionary TV-channel Rustavi2, Shevy’s government has lost a ground surprisingly easily. It became obvious later, that not only Americans, but also Russians were backing Georgian opposition. There have been several reasons for that, not only hate against Shevy, which Russian generals considered a main architect of Warsaw Pact crashing, but also ties of Temur Alasania, Saakashvili’s uncle and KGB officer, and may be even information about unstable personality of Saakashvili – which started to payback since 2006, when UNM hotheads decided they may not only cheat Russia, but also – defeat Russia!..
Yet Shevy was too confident. He called US President and Vice-President “friends”. But he’s got a bitter pill, when his friend James Baker came before election in 2003 and laid out so called Baker’s formula of fair elections, which was nothing less but a decent way to smooth defeat, as Shevy knew his real chances quite well. Surprisingly he didn’t hear alarm bell, miscalculated his power and ignored US signals by even daring not to pickup phones when US President or vice president have called.
The result was dreadful for him.
Western observers’ missions called elections of November 2, 2003 “not corresponding to standards for democratic and transparent elections” (in fact they were no worse than previous one, which was not judged so strongly!). People came to streets (BTW – only around 30,000, whilst afterwards against Saakashvili opposition often collected over 100,000 and even – 200,000 protesters!) and Shevardnadze has discovered that nearly nobody was loyal to him. At least then he took the wise decision and resigned.
That was it!
Georgian society has drawn a conclusion that second time the fate of Georgian president was decided in Washington and if western observers would have accepted the elections same way they have done many times before, there had been no trigger factor to pull Rose revolution.
RISE AND FALL OF “BEACON OF DEMOCRACY”
After that it was presumed that seeds of democracy in Georgia would rise fast and without any problem- that free media, flourishing civil sector, independent justice system, market-based competitive economy, rule of law (and not of rulers!) and check-and-balance of ruling powers (administrative, legal and justice) would be impressively implemented and that would lead to election system perfection and eventually removal of watchdog institutions. In fact, USAID has even decided to decrease funding for democracy support programs in Georgia – as the enthusiasm that Georgia now was in hands of natural-born-democrats, nearly indistinguishable from Franklin, Jefferson or Washington, has been truly overwhelming.
The things have turned out to disastrous miscalculation and I am afraid US politicians still do not want to understand how much they have been cheated by so called Young Democrats.
Starting in just 3 months from inauguration, and especially since 2005, (after yet non-investigated and strange death of Zurab Zhvania, who was indeed a pillar of democracy among young democrats), Saakashvili and government started to reveal clear tendency of neobolshevism, trying to ignore more and more any idea which was not born in their heads. More and more former allies have left Misha (first – Georgian Republican party – Usupashvili, Khidasheli, Berdzenishvili brothers, Khaindrava, Khmaladze). In 2004 only strong resistance of Zurab Zhvania and of US administration has prevented a new war in South Ossetia. Misha announced zero tolerance against crimes and Vano Merabishvili has given order not to shake and terminate at spot any dangerous criminal – that led over 100 young people dead in streets, many of those cases are at Strasbourg Court on Human Rights today. Society got especially angry with case of Sandro Girgvliani – young banker who was taken at night to cemetery by 4 police officers, tortured and killed and left body there, presumably by order of MIA minister’s wife or even by Merabishvili himself. That started first mass protests again Saakashvili in 2006.
In 2007 political crisis demanding snap Parliamentary elections has swirled Saakashvili regimen. Saakashvili has used well both inexperience of Georgian opposition and also inability of international society to differentiate between democrat and plutocrat, and modeled so called Russian plot. He succeeded not only beat and humiliate Georgian society at street, but also shut down the last independent TV Channel – Imedi TV – SWAT-storming it on totally falsified reason! After brilliant chess-sacrifice he had resigned and announced snap presidential elections. Opposition had very limited time to regroup to Presidential elections and carry out substantial campaign. Saakashvili has succeeded in assuring US administration that opposition was pro-Russian. US President George W. Bush has called Saakashvili at noon of Election Day (obviously it was late night in Washington, DC) and congratulated him with success! The same time, before vote counting was even started, OSCE observers’ mission head, US Senator Alcee Hastings has called Georgian elections a Triumph of Democracy! – There can be no doubts that was undeserved advanced credit to something appreciated with pleasure, before it really happened.
It is fact that in both Presidential (Jan 5th) and Parliamentary (May 21st) 2008 elections Saakashvili and his UNM has won thanks to mass violations of voting, use of false IDs, multiple voting and carousels, voters intimidation both by police and illegal paramilitaries (Zondercomandos), intimidation of prisonners’ families (demanding every f them bringing dozens of guaranteed votes!) and incredible personal manipulations and falsifications of then head of Central Election Commission – Levan Tarkhnishvili (which before and since then was in sociological “research” and now is #37 on Saakashvili’s UNM list for Parliamentary elections 2012). However, along with all these illegal actions, it was univocal support and acceptance of the West which kept Saakashvili at power. Imagine that – OSCE final report on Presidential elections (regretfully published only after 2 months from Saakashvili’s “winning”) stated that counting at 19% of precincts can be regarded as “bad or very bad”! 19%! And it was election when margin of only 3% has saved Saakashvili from 2nd runoff!
19% vs. 3%!
Why West has done that?
Still the image of Columbia-graduated western educated lawyer, who knows 5 languages, is smart, talks “democratic” – has made US and EU leaders thinking that he was “their S.O.B”! West told Georgian society which arranged unprecedented march of nearly 250,000 protesters in freezing day of January 20, 2008 – “Yea, guys you may dislike him, but we like him – he’s the one you need!”
Results were dreadful for Georgia and shame for West:
Result #1) in nearly 4 months from Presidential elections and 2 months from Parliamentary elections there are OSCE observer mission final reports, where 1st paragraph states that elections in principle have corresponded norms and standards of democratic elections, but nearly every each page afterwards rules out that conclusion and makes a reader to ask “what the hell?” It is clear feeling the 1st page (written in few hours from elections) and other pages (after thoughtful analysis of all facts and manipulations) do not match at all each other.
Result #2) Saakashvili has got another 4-year term and instead of previous simple majority now got constitutional majority in the Parliament which made him Constitutional tailor by his own!
Result #3) Saakashvili, illusioned by his triumph, has “misunderstood” signals from US administration, jumped in the tramp arranged by Putin in South Ossetia and instead of realization of his hot plans of parade in Tskhinvali has engaged in disastrous 5-day war with Russia, which cost him more territories lost, more refugees, Russian invasion, Russian military bases in 40 km from Tbilisi and recognition of both Abkhazia and South Ossetia de Jure by Russia.
As Lincoln Mitchell has stated, if there had been pro-Russian president of Georgia, he couldn’t have done more damage to Georgian and US interests, than what “western-oriented democrat”Misha Saakashvili has done.
So, I think West, which has solemnly watched all manipulations and fraud at 2008 elections is responsible at least partially for 2008 war, which was result of enormous cart-blanche given to Misha by Western leaders.
And that decision – making 2008 elections looked nice, has not been done at level of IRI, NDI and other observers missions. Not at level of Ambassadors in Tbilisi. Decision-making that time was done at much higher level – at level of Presidents and Prime-ministers…
After 2008 Russian-Georgian conflict the situation has changed.
Now West doesn’t call Saakashvili a Beacon of Democracy. Since 2008 practically the only justification for Saakashvili’s regimen to West is constantly growing number of Georgian soldiers sent to Afghanistan and Iraq. Misha has learnt a lesson, he doesn’t engage with provocations with Russia, only moderately verbally assaulting Russian leadership, and using soft methods of election falsification. He was Persona non grata for nearly a year, but then renewed his official visits. However, Saakashvili will never be able to return to world political elite. And his support level for forthcoming electoral fraud came down from Presidential and PM levels first to Ministers level and then probably to level of local office heads of influential NGOs – like IRI and NDI.
However, Saakashvili is talented to adjust his Modus Vivendi to the crisis. Quite early, since 2006-07 he started to establish strong personal ties with local foreigners – heads of missions and also tried to engage in his government local staff of foreign organizations which have good ties with their supervisors and HQ heads down there in Washington or EU capitals. Here is the short list of NGO staff Saakashvili made his ministers and associates: Dmitri Shashkin (IRI), Kakha Lomaia (Eurasia Foundation, Soros Foundation), David Darchiashvili (Soros Foundation), Giga Bokeria (Liberty Institute), Temur Iakobashvili (Soros Foundation), Eka Tkeshelashvili (IRIS-Georgia), Bacho Akhalaia (Liberty Institute, HR Defender’s office), Zurab Tchiaberashvili (ISFED), Gia Kavtaradze (USAID), Givi Targamadze (Liberty Institute), George Papuashvili (Soros Foundation), Gia Nodia (Caucasian Institute)…
Such a “brain attraction”campaign had two main purposes: a) to enrich the government by the faces which would be very familiar for western diplomats and media, and b) not to leave many strong experts outside government’s feed and diminishing number of possible independent criticizing voices.
But still it was number of foreigner experts which created an Avant-garde of Misha’s “iron defense” circle since 2007. The group of foreign citizens paid legally or under the table by Misha which would guarantee nice word to State Department or a special meeting with Congress leaders and media. Several of such figures: Daniel Cunin, Raphael Gluksman (married to Misha’s current Deputy Minister of Interiors Eka Zguladze), Randy Scheunemann, Mathew Bryza (presented incredibly generous wedding gifts when big delegation of Georgian officials attended his marriage with Zeyno Baran at Turkish island in 2007), Mark Mullen (NDI, and then TI), Luis Navarro (NDI)… The latter two are persons which apparently were given an important task by Saakashvili ahead of 2012 elections…
MARK MULLEN – “ANATOMY”
Misha Saakashvili at opening of Geocapital Office in Kutiasi. 30% of shares belong to Mark Mullen (first from left)
Dismissal of Nina Khatiskatsi
Programs Director of Transparency International Georgia, Nina Khatiskatsi, was dismissed from her post on July 23, 2012. This has caused speculation in the media that her dismissal was politically motivated, since Khatiskatsi has been known to make critical statements about the government’s actions. These speculations were flatly denied by TI’s leadership.
Khatiskatsi was dismissed by the head of the Board (Mark Mullen) and the Executive Director of the NGO, Eka Gigauri.
Nina Khatiskatsi told The Messenger she had never had any kind of confrontation with the leadership of the organization. “Of course, there have been issues for which I had my personal views that differed from other’s attitudes,” she said. “However, we have always managed to agree in the end. My dismissal was carried out swiftly without any preconditions. There was such in the organization when one of the employees was dismissed and exactly the same reason was named as it was mentioned in my case. However, that person was warned beforehand about it and the process was prolonged for about one month. In my case, I was dismissed without any hints about it,” Khatiskatsi stated, and excluded political motivation as the cause of her dismissal. “However, I consider that my dismissal two-months before the elections will not positively reflect on the organization,” Khatiskatsi said.
Khatiskatsi says she plans to meet with the TI board in the coming week, when “an influential representative of the board” not currently in Georgia returns. (that person was Mark Mullen)
TI’s official position is that Khatiskatsi’s dismissal was related to an “inner organizational disagreement,” stating that “…our reports have always been based on complex research in which lots of analysts and researchers have been involved. It has never expressed a single person’s views,” Transparency International Georgia underscored that speculations through the media concerning the political motivation on Khatiskatsi’s dismissal creates danger for the organization’s image. “We are worried concerning the statements and we have decided to make a broader statement concerning the inner process,” TI’s statement reads.
TI Executive Director Eka Gigauri, told The Messenger that Khatiskatsi’s dismissal was related with inner management issues and refrained from delivering details what they were related to. Gigauri however emphasized that Khatiskatsi was informed of some incompatibility between her and the organization’s leadership. “We have talked on the issue, better earlier until making decision, Gigauri state; “thus dismissal should not have come as a surprise to Khatiskatsi.”
However, in two weeks Nina revealed the truth and it became obvious, that Eka Gigauri was only an instrument for IT Board Chairman Mark Mullen, who was decision-maker in Khatiskatsi dismissal and who took control of the case himself.
It was then that investigative journalist Natia Mikiashvili (author of Investigative journalist series – Anatomy at Maestro TV during 2010-2011 and now – at TV9) made one of the program of Anatomy about Mark Mullen.
This video has been translated on English for foreign audience. ()
Misha Saakashvili has some friends. Some of the friends are international. Few of them live in Georgia longer than decade, few of them serve international NGO as Board Chairman over a decade. Mark does not only these – he has Georgian wife and stepson, and he started being a businessman in Georgia. He now runs several million worth business, which is wholeheartedly supported and advertised by President Saakashvili. Mark apparently has some other interests in multimillion businesses which are owned by Mikhail Saakashvili’s inner circles and their relatives. Besides, US citizen has been long time CEO for Iranian company.
For March 5, 2012 Mark owned 25% shares in Geocapital microfinance organization which plans to invest 5 million USD before December, 2012. Geocapital has recently opened an office in Kutaisi, which was attended by Misha Saakashvili. Saakashvili has praised GeoCapital as step to tomorrow. Other shareholders with almost equally 25%-25% were US citizen Ralf Barleson, his friend Irma Svanadze and Caucasus Investment Ltd (also co-owned by Barleson and I. Svanadze since 2011). In two months Mark’s share increased to 30% and of others – decreased to 23%-23%. Besides that, Mark owns undisclosed shares of hotel Betsy’s, one of the first foreigner-owned private business in Tbilisi.
Mark Mullen was also Director of Saba Group Ltd. But in 2011 he was replaced by his friend and owner of that Saba Group, Iranian businesswoman Maede Hassan Zadegar Futar.
Mark is also an official partner of construction/development company Wardrop & Alexander, where other partners also include Shalva Akhalkatsi and David Abshilava. Wardrop & Alexander’s portfolio of construction projects for last years has reached $58,786,888. Not bad at all!
It could have been just a profitable company in the west, but Georgian business has its own peculiarity. It only flourishes if there is a governmental “roof”. There are many international organizations reports which state that despite of middle-level corruption eradication, top-level and government-associated elite corruption and business “protection” is very common and even have grown dramatically in Saakashvili’s Georgia.
And such person with good governmental ties in Wardrop and Alexander seems Shalva Akhalkatsi, close friend and long-time business associate of Leo Bokeria, being Managing director of Architectural design and construction company Arc-Studia, which de-facto is run by Leo Bokeria (owns 20% of shares). And Leo Bokeria “happened to be” father of Giga Bokeria, one of the powerful leaders of Saakashvili’s United National Movement and the person, who despite of any of his positions (MP, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Secretary of National Security Council) always has been among the top-5 persons which Saakashvili was consulting on most of the important issues, including reforms, change of constitution, oppression of street protests or war with Russia in 2008. Interestingly Giga Bokeria and Mark Mullen have been long-time Board members of Transparency International Georgia, whilst Mark shares business interests with the closest friend of Giga Bokeria’s father – Shalva Akhalkatsi. Interestingly – another shareholder of ArcStudio – David Abshilava (owns 40% of Arc-Studio) is also partner of Wardrop and Alexander, likewise Mark Mullen.
But how Mark came to Georgia and what was he doing during Rose revolution, when he was co-director of another international NGO – National Democratic Institute (NDI)?
The Anatomy shows long citation from correspondence between Mark Mullen (MM) and Nino Burjanadze (NB), who was then Chair of the Parliament and was leaning to Misha Saakashvili and Zurab Zhvania. I his letters Mark gives lessons what to speak and how to act to Nino Burjanadze. (11:18). He gives her advice to become a legitimate leader of the opposition (12:12), at the same time gently suggesting that she doesn’t need to attend meetings (thus keeping her ties with opposition hidden for a while). Then Mark is enchanted by idea of NB to carry out meeting of famous Georgians as sort of representative organ which would influence Shevardnadze’s government. MM says to NB – we can help you to write a petition, but you don’t need to sign it (13:00).
Then we go back to present time. Until recently society didn’t know that MM’s stepson, US citizen Nick Amirejibi was a US-trained Special Op instructor for SWAT-operations training and he came back to Georgia for Shavnabada Special forces training and worked at MIA. (19:02). Mark’s son is believed to be in good relations with Bacho Akhalaia (formerly minister of detentions and then – of Defense, until recently – Minister of Interiors) and with Vano Merabishvili (MM is in short foot with Merabishvili himself too). MM’s wife – Rusiko Amirejibi has been heartfelt supporter of Misha Saakashvili and of Vano Merabishvili, but came out with outcry of dissatisfaction at Facebook, when Akhalaia was appointed as MIA Minister and his brother became Deputy Defense Minister.
What was Mark’s role at Transparency International? He is a Board Chairman for this organization which does enormously important work in the country – mainly in monitoring political process, particularly – election process, legal assistance, civil society development, media independence, etc. MM has been NDI Board Chair over 10 years for now. As Nina Khatislkatsi recalls, at least in last years MM was rarely coming to TI office, being mainly seen as a guest, and doesn’t interfering in organization’s activities.
However, that has changed recently. MM has suddenly decided to fire Nina Khatiskhatsi and besides he has decided to fire her without any reasonable ground. And that is happening just 2 months before ahead elections, when dismissing crucial staff member, head of exactly electoral and legal assistance programs, author of almost all reports in these fields for many years – could have been a devastating step, dramatically hindering organization’s capacity to continue its observing activities for quasi-important 2012 October elections.
In the secret audio recording which Nina has made when she had a “dismissal” talk with MM, it is obvious (22:10 – 22:50) that Mark heavily blackmails Nina. Instead of making clear to her why he decided to fire her, he talks absurd “reasons” that he doesn’t want to explain to the world, why she was fired and it would be in her better interest to resign silently. He even talks about his “role” for Nina not being able to get a good job at Open Society Foundation (Soros Foundation) unless he gives a green light to that. He wants to have a deal with Nina – we will tell the “world”, that Nina was tired, she has a little child, she wanted to test herself in other works and she left the office by her own will!
It is unthinkable to think that Head of organization which is called Transparency International talks such a-la-Corleone talks with her subordinate and not only demands her resignation, but warns her not to rise a voice! By this short fragment you can say MM has been rotten the same way as UNM and their leadership have been rotten! And by knowing Mark we can suggest that this is demand which came from UNM leadership – that Nina Khatiskatsi should have been fired!
What is amazing – that if there wouldn’t have been Nina’s secret audio recording, MM would bluntly deny that he had anything to do with that dismissal. Before knowing his talk with Nina was recorded, he does exactly that – he says it is Executive Director’s – Eka Gigauri’s job to decide who to fire and he himself has never talked with Nina Khatiskatsi about resigning! In his interview to TSPress agency Mark said that he gave proposal to Nina, to finish reports and to leave as if she would make it clear that she was leaving, TI would have been unable to pay the wage to her! This is outrageous shift of accents! Mark says he entrusted Eka Gigauri would deal with Nina’s dismissal, as Eka had talk with her several times, but Eka didn’t convince Nina and Mark decided to intervene as he was the one who hired her time ago.
It is strange that Mark’s wife, who is a family member, but not member of TI, has discussed at Facebook page that it was Mark’s decision “to protect Nina’s reputation”. MM has explained it was because they didn’t want to reveal that Nina was often reprimanded for not accomplishing her jobs timely, being often late, etc… Nina says – all these are plain lie. BTW, when Eka Gigauri said Nina was not doing her job well, one could check that in 2012 Nina Khatiskatsi has got salary rise in TI – you don’t give a salary rise to a person who is misdoing here job, right?!
TS Press (Eliso Janashia) interviews with Mark and other coverage of the story (on Georgian)
But after hearing that there is audio evidence of him blackmailing Nina, Mark seemed now very concerned and lost in Anatomy. He admits (27:11) his engagement in Saba Ltd, but denies he has received any financial reimbursement (at the same time he said to newspapers, that US administration was not happy he being Director of company, owned by Iranian). He also admits his friendship with Shalva Akhalkatsi, and that he is consultant of Wardrop and Alexander (which had portfolio of project over 58 million GEL), but says he has no financial interest for this consulting job. At the same time he admits Akhalkatsi’s business partner is Leo Bokeria, father of Giga Bokeria. Mark admits Misha Saakashvili came to opening of GeoCapital’s office in Kutaisi, but he says it has been not a special recognition of his business being supported, but Misha simply loves to go to openings and that “… Misha was at opening, anyway, for rather short time”(!)
at the end of Mark’s Anatomy, Natia Mikiashvili asks Mark Mullen very straightforward question – “We have heard, that after Nina has being fired, Shalva Akhalkatsi’s son, George Akhalkatsi is being now considered to oversee election monitoring program at TI. Is that right?”
MM answers – “George has just joined TI Board…” and then walks away.
To me that answer means – “Yes! Why not…”
Imagine that – young person with good records at Human rights organizations and democratic institutions is sent to Georgia. He here meets young reformers and instructs them how to win the power. They follow instructions, and they become the statesmen. Now they (who formerly hardly ever had over 20$ in their pockets) run the country and become millionaires, some – even billionaires. And the US citizen still has the same below $100,000 income annually. But his “Nuove riche” friends who advise him to engage in the business and he starts doing that. His businesses go well, as everybody knows he is in good relations with ruling party, but … he miscalculates, that as he engages in business, he is then in the domain of his “friends”, and his independence becomes vulnerable. He can be called and asked to make “some favor”… something in exchange of being owner of favorite business in ruling-party-governed business environment, like Georgia is… Something, he can’t deny…
Two things which are not covered in Mark’s Anatomy –
a) before Nina Khatiskatsi’s dismissal Tax police came to MM’s GeoCapital office and made some checks. Apparently that was “you’d better don’t misbehave” signal…
b) former head of Transparency International Georgia – Vakhtang Kobaladze has also left TI after previous elections in 2010 when TI has covered voters’ intimidation and multiple fraud. Vakhtang Kobaladze has left TI after hard talk with Mark Mullen. I suppose, That time MM has succeeded to have silent dismissal…
Mark Mullen became vulnerable by his business interests. He can’t be independent, while having business in Georgia. He can’t be independent being close friend of Merabishvili, Bokeria and Saakashvili. Apparently the UNM plan was to replace Khatiskatsi and instate son of Giga Bokeria’s father’s close friend on election monitoring program. It only succeeded on first 50%…
Mark Mullen and his wife – Rusiko Amirejibi have hurriedly left Georgia after Nina’s audiorecording was available… TI Board had no meeting to discuss Nina Khatiskatsi case and Mark’s role. Other people, not George Akhalkatsi have become new directors of the programs managed by Nina…
Rusiko Amirejibi has erased all her posts on Facebook during 2012 January-August period. She recently told her close friend, she will return a week before election to Tbilisi, in “quite new role” – she said.
And finally one more recent news: on September 23rd Nina Khatiskatsi’s husband, Georgian Dream staff member Kakha Jorjoliani has been arrested in Mestia on invented charges of Electoral commission member. Kakha was sentenced to 40 days imprisonment for “offending electoral commission member”. In 2 days it became obvious this person had nothing to do with electoral commission, he apparently is a law-enforceemnt body officer – it was another political arrest…
DESPITE OF WRITTEN ABOVE, I HAVE NO DOUBTS THAT TRANSPARENCY ITNERNATIONAL GEORGIA SO FAR HAS BEEN DOING INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT AND OUTSTANDING JOB – HELPING GEORGIAN SOCIETY AND PEOPLE OF GEORGIA IN ACHIEVING BETTER DEMOCRATIC STANDARDS. MY ONLY CONCERN WAS THAT EVEN IN SUCH WELL-FUNCTIONING INSTITUTION IF SOME SAAKASHVILI-FAVORING “EXPERTS” IMPLANTED, IT WOULD TOTALLY DESTROY THE FAIR JOB AND REPUTATION OF THAT NGO! BUT UNLIKE MARK MULLEN AND RUSIKO AMIREJIBI I THINK THAT POINTING A POSSIBLE PROBLEM IS A PREVENTION RATHER THAN A DAMAGE, AND ORGANIZATION, CALLED TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL SHALL NOT ALLOW HIDDEN ADMINISTRATIVE MANIPULATIONS, LIKE THE ONES USED AGAISNT NINA KHATISKATSI.
LUIS NAVARRO: IN MISHA HE TRUSTS
Why today Luis Navarro – head of NDI office became so important person in Georgian politics?
We have NDI office in Tbilisi for quite a time and society was never really aware who was running that office. In fact, one of the brilliant critics of Saakashvili’s regime today – Professor Lincoln Mitchell was once a head of NDI office. I would say NDI’s reputation stands on dignity of such persons as Mr. Mitchell, while Mr. Navarro is the one who greedily absorbs NDI’s reputation, for making his deeds justified. Professor Mitchell has enough credentials aside of NDI office position, while Luis Navarro, if stripped of that position, as well as assistance to Joe Biden, will probably have not much personal credits left to crow about, I suppose.
Regretfully, there are lots of aspects around Mr. Navarro for inducing me to think that way! However, if NDI-leaded pools will accommodate existing criticism and reveal tendencies to become fair, then I will take back my suspicions and gladly provide my public apologies. But I am afraid this is very naive over-optimism.
The Answer on that query – Why Navarro and NDI-Georgia became critical in today’s Georgia is simple: because this may be the very level on which US would intervene in Georgian elections!
And only we – citizens of Georgia can change that – inducing higher hierarchy of US administration to respect our choice. As philosopher Zaza Shatirishvili has noted in the TV program Subjective Opinion, every country has such NDI office (and its head!), which it deserves! Zaza has joked that it is now good time to draw a line between two Americas: of Luis Navarro and of founding fathers of US democracy… Well, there is substantial portion of truth in that joke…
After IRI office head Dmitri Shashkin has became multi-purpose minister in Saakashvili’s government, it is not surprising that former office member of NDI is now #4 in Saakashvili’s UNM electoral list. This proves how much grateful UNM is to Luis Navarro’s girls and boys!
Having hard time with opposition which is now united and strong (financially as well) as never before, Saakashvili has hoped that US administration would back his party for 2012 elections. He made incredible efforts to send more soldiers (per capita) to Iraq than any NATO member country, he even accepted longtime-objected process of Russia’s approval for joining WTO upon US administration request, accepted that on exchange of his official meeting with Obama! But to his dissatisfaction, that meeting brought not a complete re-crowning to Misha, as President Obama made rather strong emphasis on need of transparent and democratic elections and as a result – formal transfer of power in 2012 and 2013 elections!
This wording – need of transparent and democratic elections and as a result – formal transfer of power in 2012 and 2013 elections – became an outstanding hard-press for Misha, which multiple times have escaped straightforward answer on question what he will do after stepping down from President’s seat in 2013 and whether he will follow Putin’s footsteps becoming a prime minister. These doubts are very reasonable as Saakashvili prepared a good “airfield for soft-landing” – from 2013 Prime Minister becomes a de-facto ruler of Georgia, leaving only representative functions to weakened President. Mikheil Saakashvili has invented yet unthinkable model in the world: PrimeMinisterial kingdom!
But as Misha skillfully avoided to answer the question whether he will pull a Putin or not, above mentioned requirement for transparent and democratic elections and power transfer has been repeatedly told to him – after President Obama – by Hillary Clinton, by Anders Fog Rasmussen, by Herman Van Rompuy, By Jose Manuel Barroso… – Elections 2012 will be seen as test for Democracy in Georgia, recently repeated by Tomas Melia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State…
And Misha has no other choice but to rely on lower level approval – he turns to Luis Navarro who is trusted to save Misha Saakashvili’s sinking UNM. Can Navarro do that?
Well, there are other implants to help him in this rather hard task.
Today everybody in Georgia has heard “NDI” and “Navarro”. And nearly everybody knows these names are related with polls – regarding what is concern for society, how much and which ratings Georgian parties have.
But interestingly, it turns out that NDI office in Georgia since its establishment for many years has not requested a single poll at all! Although Navarro is trying to misinform society and often talks about NDI observing many elections in Georgia since 1994, but this is not the same as carrying out or requesting polls during those election years or in between. NDI in Mark Mullen’s period, as well as in Lincoln Mitchell’s period has carried no polls. It was Mr. Navarro, which transformed NDI office to mainly polling-related institution.
Moreover, what is obvious, that NDI worldwide has nearly no analogue to NDI-Georgia, when polls are regarded as their almost top priority. The only exclusion when NDI engaged in polls was Egypt at onset of Arab Spring. And as journalist Eka Beridze was remembering that NDI poll proved to be not very inline with Egypt’s population demands and expectations, as well as ratings of that pool had been more than doubtful. Apparently, that’s why now one can hardly find results of that Egypt’s poll on the net.
But in Georgia, as I said, NDI became so much poll–oriented that for locals it nearly equals Gallup!
However, according to NDI webpage, the main objectives of the organization are rather different from being a poll-requester: NDI and its local partners work to promote openness and accountability in government by building political and civic organizations, safeguarding elections, and promoting citizen participation. The Institute brings together individuals and groups to share ideas, knowledge, experiences and expertise that can be adapted to the needs of individual countries.
What indeed is a face of NDI, and especially in countries of developing economies, these are multiple observer missions to monitor elections, which watchdog electoral environment and electoral regulations and their implementation in practice. That function of NDI so far had no questions raised from society, – particularly NDI’s director Ken Wollack recent visit and his critics and 5 recommendations towards Georgian Government were very relevant and concrete and they excluded any double readings, unlike some of the results Navarro-requested polls.
Regarding poll-carrying function of NDI Georgian office, and nearly a-la-Gallup stance, once can surely argue that it has a lot to do with elections transparency and with researching election environment, but even accepting that argument as partial justification for Mr. Navarro’s terrible love of polls, there is still something to be surprised at.
1) During nearly 2 years since starting poll-business NDI office was giving party ratings in closed envelopes to the particular parties, while they were hidden from society eyes. This suspicious practice has been finally rejected in June 2012 after public outcry. I wonder how such secrecy and transparency can be related. What was reason to nurture such medieval privacy which then was giving good chance to parties (especially – to ruling UNM) to claim higher rate of support?
2) How relevant and justified is that Navarro signs all his poll requests to only one organization- Caucasian Research Resource Center (CRRC), and why this organization keeps its field studies and focus group technology so secret? Is this again Navarro’s interpretation what “transparency” can and should be?
Interestingly, former USA ambassador – John Bass, just before his departure from Georgia has made one interesting disclosure (the very time when dissatisfaction by Navarro’s activity and by secrecy of NDI-requested polls have reched the maximum boiling point and when opposition even has asked a question whether organization with such desire for secrecy of work technology can be at all trusted to carry out such polls damaging public opinion rather than – researching it). Mr. Bass said that NDI sociology polls were not funded by US government! We have then learned it was Swedish International Development Agency – SIDA, which funds the NDI polls.
We (me including) have not paid much attention to that disclosure that time. Apparently – we should have.
Likewise Georgian government which has incredible attraction to reasonable doubts – people are simply kept prisoners for years or fined multimillion fines based solely on those doubts and nothing else, I would also dive in deep seas of reasonable doubts regarding possible scenarios of NDI(DC)-SIDA-NDI(TBS)-CRRC agreements and relationships.
As NDI is a respectable US organizations (no doubt about that, despite of Mr. Navarro’s personal “talents” and “objective stance”), presumably SIDA local (Tbilisi) office may not have direct authority to control the funds given to it by SIDA central office. Or that control over methodology and reporting, over particular RFAs and accomplishments may be at very flexible (= loose) level, mainly – formality, which could have been quite different, if the grantee was a Georgian organization, namely – CRRC.
On the other hand, as for NDI Tbilisi office that project seems to be the result of their local initiative, NDI central office and US government (USAID), presumably, may also consider that program out of their scope for monitoring!
If those two assumptions are both true, then Mr. Luis Navarro may have full cart-blanche for the program – maximum of freedom and minimum of control from either direct bosses or temporary grantors. He could be the one who requests music. And if so then it is understandable why this “music” seems of so low quality.
One more option which might be worth to be considered: when SIDA grants a particular program, it usually considers local government’s position on the need of such program. If in SIDA and Navarro marriage, the matchmaker was Georgian government (somebody like Giga Bokeria, or Paliko Kublashvili), then the puzzle gets made too easily! First Georgian government may have dealt with Navarro, and “propose” CRRC, as reliable research institution (we’ll talk about CRRC later), then Georgian government might have suggested to SIDA to fund sociological polls in Georgia (something which in fact is closer to SIDA, than to NDI) and proposed NDI Tbilisi office, as very distinguished partner which has other arm, observing elections! And as SIDA trusted Navarro, then Navarro trusted CRRC and society got the result, – the program in which pro-governmental research institution does a job – researching how the population feels (love!) about the government!
My “reasonable doubt” tells me that in such scenario the field-making by CRRC could be very relevant to what government would suggest – public workers, police, handy media, bankers, villagers…
Does that sound as too much conspiracy? Hell, not in Saakashvili’s Georgia!
What is CRRC? Who is Levan Tarkhnishvili?
Caucasian Research Resource Center is not a legal entity, but rather a program which has been established in all South Caucasian countries in 2003 thanks to US government support with the goal of strengthening social science research and public policy analysis in the region. CRRC network unites well-known experts of different kind and is engaged in poll conducting. Although not directly associated with Saakashvili government, but anybody in Georgia knows about warm relationship between CRRC-Georgia and Misha. The first executive director of CRRC, notorious Levan Tarkhnishvili, a good friend of whole UNM leadership and product of Liberty Institute, was so much trusted by Misha that he made him Chairman of Central Election Commission for 2008 pivotal elections. Methods of sophisticated falsification by CEC on those elections included some really “trade-marked innovations”: like all reports from regional CEC bureaus have been sent by fax personally to Levan Tarkhnishvili, and that fax was in the closed room, where nobody else but himself had key to enter! Tarkhnishvili kept whole country inseveral-day darkness until UNM has counted how much they lost in Tbilisi and large cities and how much they had to falsify in some, mainly – minority-populated regions.
It was 2008 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia, “managed” by Mr. Tarkhnishvili, which has been called by Human Right Election observing mission report in way which needs no explanation, as it speaks itself: “Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections – Unprecedented brutality and Election Fraud” (!)http://humanrights.ge/admin/editor/uploads/pdf/HRIDC%20Election%20Report.pdf
While Levan Tarkhnishvili was dispatched from “research” field to CEC Chairmanship in 2007, government still needed a “trusted” research company carrying out polls in. They “trusted” that task in 2008 to BCG. The company provided exit polls results of which have been disclosed until the end of vote! And in 2008 presidential election BCG was “forecasting” Saakashvili’s win with “unprecedented brutality”. Guess who was head of BCG that time? – Ani Tarkhnishvili, the wife of Levan Tarkhnishvili !!! The wife was “forecasting”, paving a road – The husband was following forecast, cementing UNM’s “result”.
After Levan Tarkhnishvili has got nation-wide appreciation as thief of votes, he has been replaced by Zurab Kharatishvili, which makes softer stealing. And Mr. Tarkhnishvili returned to “scientific” falsification. But it was decided that he wouldn’t take a director’s position at CRRC, leaving that to another, “clean” professor – Koba Turmanidze. As the informed people say, Tarkhnishvili who serves as Professor at Ilya State University, is still playing role of Grey Cardinal at CRRC.
Most importantly – Number #4 in the Saakashvili’s UNM list is Tamar Bokuchava, NDI staff member, and #37 is Mr. Levan Tarkhnishvili himself! AS THE JOBE WELL DONE, PARTY REWARDS ITS FAITHFUL SOLDEIRS!
In Eka Beridze show Direct Talk (of 17th September, 2012) , professor Marine Chitashvili expressed her outrage in how Mr. Navarro dared to use her name for washing dirty and dark “results” of CRRC polling. Prof. Chitashvili has been a council member for CRRC but had no knowledge of polls field studies methodology and can bear no responsibility for sure! She said she immediately provided her letter of resignation to Director K. Turmanidze.
Besides, Marina Chitashvili has asked very thoughtful questions about NDI polls and how their research is compatible with NDI mission and objectives:
1) NDI last poll have found that there is a growing polarization between government and opposition and trust is more and more diminished. The question is, believing in that one could ask what NDI has done to prevent that alarming tendency. Should there have been more activity from NDI local office rather than simply observing the trend?
2) According to NDI polls the most trusted institutions in Georgia are not the ones which represent democratic society (Parliament, Independent Justice, Media, Civil Society…), but church, army and police! Even if so, is it something NDI may crow about?
3) NDI polls plainly state that gender inequality remains an issue and women’s engagement in political process is rather low. Marina Chitashvili has asked – what NDI office has done to prevent that trend?
4) It is also strange that if there is grwoing polarization, how so many people – over 20% can be still undecided who they vote for in just 2 weeks time?
The same day – former NDI-employee Gregory Minjack which represents Public Strategy and Ukraine-based NGO – Georgian Voice for Fair Election has joined his voice expressing frustration over NDI-Georgia activities. Mr. Minjack is an expert in political processes and has more than 20 years of experience advising political campaigns in the U.S. and overseas. He was member of NDI observers’ mission in Georgia in 90s and in 2009 has got USAID highest expert rank in democracy development field.
Mr. Minjack said to “Kviris Palitra” weekly newspaper he was astonished to see what Mr. Navarro does and he said he wanted to know more about Navarro’s vision regarding huge Georgian Diaspora participation (or – barring from participation in fact!) in forthcoming elections, and what NDI responded when Georgian MoFA and CEC have introduced draconian new regulations – drastically diminishing chance for Georgian migrants to participate in elections abroad. Greg Minjack said he was astonished to hear in response that Mr. Navarro doesn’t care about Diaspora! 25% of population lives abroad and NDI office head considers that irrelevant for democracy process?? – asked Minjack. But what to expect from an official who considers announcement of Georgian Ambassador in France that Georgian illegal migrants shall not have any rights to vote – normal?! Apparently Mr. Navarro is in too close relationship with the government and not with democracy! It is a shame, like a former NDI head – Mark Mullen which serves Saakashvili. – said Minjack. I have asked Mr. Navarro, what is the methodology used in their field studies and got not reasonable answer that he doesn’t want to speak about that! I love Georgia and Georgian people and they do not deserve such NDI office! – said Greg Minjack and promised he will try to pass his frustration over Mr. Navarro’s job performance to NDI leadership in USA.
It seems, that Mr. Navarro transformed NDI Georgia office for some reasons to Gallup center and due to his wish not to displease Saakashvili’s government he left behind those objectives and tasks, which should have been NDI’s priority according to organization’s main mission. While Navarro and CRRC printout satisfactory to Saakashvili poll results, the situation in democracy and civil society development regresses.
Luis Navarro, in his recent appearance at media, always streses out that his approiach is based on his principles and views. But one can doubt how objective and conflict-of-interest-free those principles and views are:
- For example, from beginning, NDI polls are given to CRRC. Always (and Forever?). One can approve such faithfulness, but here comes the reasonable question – when you want to create trust to your polls why always to choose the organization which has so badly rotten roots as Vote-stealer Levan Tarkhnishvili? Why not try at least once to engage somebody else? The reasonable answer is – that will displease Saakashvili and his elite! In CRRC they trust!
- Most interesting peculiarity on NDI (and IRI!) polls done with open methodology when interviewer interviews respondents (in focus groups – videocamera armed interviewer asks questions to groups of people), which are given words that anonymity is kept, but which live in Georgia, where 70% of students have answered positively on question – “Do you think you phone talks are listened?” such open polling methodology the number of respondents who deny to disclose their political preferences, or to answer – “I don’t know!” has always been incredibly high! 35-45%. Although that is rather common in countries with established autocracies (Zimbabwe, e.g.) , Mr. Navarro vehemently denies that may have anything with fear! He explains that this is a Georgian habit, Georgians do not want to share their opinions, and they don’t want to have tense talks (?!), they prefer to keep everything secret! – says an expert in Georgian psychology – Mr. Luis Navarro. He admits he has heard about Fear factor in Georgian society, but he simply doesn’t believe in it!
It would have been incredibly interesting after that prison rape and torture scandal to re-ask Mr. Navarro, whether he reconsiders his “expert opinion” about fear factor in Georgian society. But Mr. Navarro could work-out some other “intelligent explanation”, I guess.
Despite of what Mr. Navarro feels, majority of both local and foreign experts (of course not mentioning such desperate defendants of Saakashvili regimen, as Vladimir Socor, Ariel Cohen and well paid Misha’s lobbying company Greenberg-Quinlan-Rossner) suggest that in fact such high rate of refraining to reveal their choice respondents can only be result of intimidation and firing campaign introduced by Misha and his “institutions” on anybody who dares to support opposition.
Therefore Georgian and foreign experts do advise to government and polling institutions to carry out so called “close polls”, when person’s anonymity is far more protected, is he puts his answers in a box, Rather than openly answering questions which above all can be recorded on video!. As expected, when such methodology was used by some other polling institutions, nearly 3:1 lead of UNM over Georgian Dream to almost 50-50 distribution. That proves, that majority of those refraining to disclose their choice voters are in fact supporters of Georgian Dream, majority of whom would reveal their choice if a little bit of more anonymity would be offered thus decreasing their exposure from being politically fired or intimidated by any other terms.
Based on that majority of independent experts do univocally draw recommendation that for overcoming that huge rate of non-disclosed respondents in IRI and NDIU polls would be to follow methodology used by Penn-Schoenn-Berland and others and to use close interview method at least once! Dr. Iago Kachkachishvili has proposed either to pass this methodology top CRRC or to do parallel studies with CRRC for making reason of discrepancy clear. However, it is a deaf ear which Mr. Navarro and CRRC direct top such advise. That to me clearly says – we know we make bias and we want to continue to make bias! It is pretty understandable as well as even allowing such method to be used at least once, it would reveal that all previous fairy tales about UNM strong leadership was simply based on number of non-willing to disclose respondents, which in n great majority are favoring Georgian Dream.
One more extremely important issue is how CRRC does its field work and forms its focus groups! This is the most sacral issue, CRRC would never ever disclose! It is alpha and omega of CRRC falsifications. I know from people who have received this information from field workers on terms of non-disclosure that 80-90% of fields and focus groups are formed from the respondents clearly loyal to UNM! There have been some rumors that majority of these groups are from following categories – Public Servants (e.g. ministerial staff or school teacher), bank workers, students associated with government-ruled Student Self-Management (a new type of Komsomol a-la-Misha) groups – these are the social groups either associated with the government or having too much to loose (job, not bad salaries, support premiums, etc). Another subgroup is rural population , which may have not much to loose, but thanks to Saakashvili propaganda machine having no competitor at regions, they are far from understanding what’s up in the country and accepting Saakashvili lies as truth.
Mr. Luis Navarro and CRRC have shockingly similar taste what to ask Georgian society and what to never ask! Likewise similar is their taste in when exactly to ask this or that particular question.
For example, Luis Navarro ranked as very interesting a question when Lazika city – a delirious mega project of Mikhail Saakashvili – will be build (I can’t recall any person aside of propagandists of Saakashvili interested in that issue) but he and CRRC have felt it was not interesting for Georgian citizens a question, why and what grounds State Audit Service fines Georgian Dream on multimillion fines whilst fines against UNM are so modest! What Georgian citizens think about special rule against Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Cartu Bank was introduced and then cancelled in just 3 months when Cartu Bank has lost 180 million GEL by that special rule! CRRC never asked respondents what they think about fairness of government support to Kakheti hailstorm victims and why Presidential and Government special funds are so secretly spent! interestingly CRRC has asked opinion of respondents regarding importance of State Voters’ List Commission work when the results were yet not presented, (and proudly saying citizens feel this has not being an alarming issue now, but have not asked the same question, when final results have shown that voters’ list has not been decreased, but furthermore inflated and everybody has frustration regarding new falsification done by government. Similarly after stating a question correctly in February 2012 – how many of you would follow Ivanishvii’s call for street actions if elections are fraudulent, the same question was changed to simply – “– how many of you would follow Ivanishvii’s call for street actions”, which gave biased results and CRRC stated with satisfaction that number of street actions supporters “has been decreased”! It was also very absurd to ask – “What do you know about Ivanishvili’s plans?” when Ivanishvili presented a program but there was not a plan. The same time CRRC didn’t ask what would you now about UNM plan?
All the above mentioned makes me thinking that Mr. Navarro and Saakashvili’s favorite agency CRRC are not reliable independent objective judgment makers, but biased and pro-governmental agencies which are having one big task – to falsify terribly high support rate for UNM and diminish (by not discussing possible reasons for 40-45% refraining to answer group) possible supporters for Georgian Dream. Mr. Navarro and CRRC are biased and promote Saakashvili’s UNM.
Unlike case of Mr. Mullen, I can’t say what is a reason behind that favoritism, but I am sure Mr. Navarro will do anything he can not to oppose his former polls and on October 1st pivotal exit polls to fulfill the dream of Saakashvili, to receive that falsified 60% or even 70% which they would never get without fraud-masters like Tarkhnishvili, Kharatishvili and CRRC.
Georgian people will try to prevent the fraud, despite of citizenship of those who try to cheat…
P.S. Today Georgia waits for elections and it is on the werge of another revolution! Prison Rape sacandal has shown a Jackal’s face of once “Beacon of Democracy” leadership. With every day more documents and more shocking stories are revealed, which have a verdict – this system was a Hell with lable – “Welcome to Paradise!”
Some exerpts from brilliant article of Charles H. Fairbanks, Jr. a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute. He was formerly a research professor of international relations at Johns Hopkins’ Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and a director of the Central Asia / Caucasus Institute.