Peculiarities of Abkhaz democracy
Anton Krivenyuk, Sukhumi
Bagapsh, under whom Abkhazia emerged from the ruins of war and was recognized as an independent state, is losing popularity day by day.
Sukhumi is being rebuilt at a high speed. There are newly-paved roads and expensive cars on them. There are newly-refurbished homes and new furniture in them. Today's Abkhazia cannot be compared with the period of blockade and devastation, when people were afraid to go out into dark streets in the evenings, roofs leaked, roads were destroyed, and it was possible to earn one's living only by selling citruses on the Russian border. Life in Abkhazia has now changed for the better.
The changes started in 2005, when president Sergey Bagapsh came to power.
It would seem logical for people to worship their saviour, as Abkhazia that was gradually reduced to ruins is regaining the elegant appearance it had in the Soviet times. However, despite visible successes Bagapsh has achieved, his popularity among the population is falling at an alarming pace.
Some time ago, about 500 people assembled at the cultural centre in Gudauta sharply criticized the president. Most of the people were veterans of the Georgian-Abkhaz war. They were infuriated by an interview Bagapsh had given to a Russian media outlet, in which the president said: "No one will ever force me not to recognize Moscow as my capital. Moscow is our capital". Only a handful of people in Abkhazia believe that their capital is in Russia.
This is not the first suspicious and equivocal statement Bagapsh has made. He broke all records in the number of scandals during his second presidential term.
The Abkhaz president is a typical representative of the Soviet economic nomenclature and is not so strong in public politics. However, his intuition for behind-the-scene games is indeed envious. He is quite sly and has managed to strengthen his positions in the Olympus of power. He is neither a revolutionary nor a reformist. He had neither sufficient force nor the appropriate desire to combat corruption and build a "new country". He took another path. In first president Vladislav Ardzinba's time, the whole economy belonged to one clan, but Bagapsh created a competitive environment in this field. The budget and the economic complex became available to hundreds of officials and managers, many of whom are much richer than the president and other leading figures in the country. Roads, houses, and hotels are being built in the republic. New joint and individual enterprises are being set up and investments are flowing. All that needs to be managed. Instead of appointing his own relatives as economic managers, Bagapsh distributed the posts to the "right people", who enjoyed influence in Abkhazia. Bagapsh's reliance on the loyalty of the elite proved to be correct and he won the presidential election held at the end of 2009.
However, being carried away by behind-the-scene games and overestimating Russia's role in the domestic political processes, the president lost contact with the public and, what is most important, forgot certain nuances of Abkhaz democracy.
First: the "Abkhaz democracy", which European experts and journalists often praise, has effectively nothing to do with the European understanding of democracy. It is a peculiar form of Caucasian democracy based on the small size of the Abkhaz public. Today, just like previously, close kinship, family, and regional ties are playing the main role in social communications. For rare exceptions, politicians are not afraid of persecution in Abkhazia. However, unlike genuine democracy, politicians here are protected by quite a concrete part of society, not by law or rights. That is why the state failed to become a repressive machine.
One more feature of these close public ties is that they hinder politics from being radicalized. When the opposition led by Bagapsh defeated in the 2004 election Raul Khajimba, who was believed to be the first president's heir, the system managed to avert a civil war. Indeed, in a tiny country populated by relatives and kindred spirits, no one can ever dare to shoot on his brother.
Nuance two: in a small community like that in Abkhazia, the attitude towards resources - land and property - is quite different. In a large society, any resource is abstract "our land", while every inch of land is almost "one's own" in a small one. Correspondingly, general promises of new jobs and improvement of living conditions are not sufficient for the Abkhaz public. They want to know what concrete benefits the people, who live in the area where a foreign capital investment is to be made, are going to receive from the investment.
Nuance three: in a small country, effectively every person, who has Adult video chat live sex show make girl sex with some sexy girls adult live sex deal show the appropriate desire, can participate in politics and public life and this is often the case too. Correspondingly, public participation in politics is not limited to representative institutions like parliament and public chamber, particularly as these institutions are excessively dependent on the situation and cannot boast of efficient representation of voters' interests. The authorities can conduct a real direct dialogue with their people in Abkhazia, which has 300,000 residents.Free live webcam chat services for adults: sex chat rooms live sex cams live web cam sex shows live sex cams
And finally, nuance four: the most unique experiment in its history is now being implemented in Abkhazia, which now belongs to itself, not Russia, Georgia, Turkey… Correspondingly, the public suffer from the complex of "non-return" to the old times, when the territory was a colony of more powerful neighbours. Therefore, everyone here reacts very sharply to Webcam Sex Live Cam Sex the government's foreign and economic policy.
Bagapsh forgot these specific details of Abkhaz reality long ago. He suddenly had the desire to "establish order" and show that he has a "strong hand". Without any consultations with the people, he is making an oil-producing country out of Abkhazia, presenting Russia with dachas and keeping secret the conditions of contracts signed with Russian banks. He says "I made the decision", without asking people's opinion. And finally, he decided that the best future for Abkhazia is its Soviet past.
This is the reason for the endless political crisis in this country. The Abkhaz public is not ready to accept the style of governance, to which Russia has now returned. No one wants to return to the Soviet era here. We are often reminded and we remember full well too that Abkhazia Adult video chat sex cam show make live girls with some hot sexy girls adult live sex deal show used to live well in the Soviet times. However, everyone also remembers full well that Abkhazia was not Abkhazia at that time.
Bagapsh forgot these specific details of Abkhaz reality long ago. He suddenly had the desire to "establish order" and show that he has a "strong hand". He says "I made the decision", without asking people's opinion.