World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article
 

Rose Revolution

Rose Revolution
Part of the Colour revolutions
Demonstration at the City Hall, Freedom Square, Tbilisi
Date November 2003
Location Georgia
Causes Economic mismanagement,
Electoral fraud,
Political corruption,
Poverty,
State failure
Goals European integration,
Free elections,
Reintegration of Abkhazia, Adjara and South Ossetia,
Resignation of Eduard Shevardnadze
Methods Widespread demonstrations
Status Ended
Parties to the civil conflict
United National Movement
Kmara

Government of Georgia

  • Police of Georgia
Lead figures

The Revolution of Roses (often translated into English as the Rose Revolution) (President Eduard Shevardnadze was forced to resign on November 23, 2003.

The Rose Revolution marked the end of Eduard Shevardnadze's reign in Georgia, along with the end of a Soviet era of leadership. Consisting of twenty days worth of protests, it ended with new United National Movement.

Contents

  • Precipitating factors 1
    • Fragmentation of the political elite 1.1
    • Rise of non-governmental organizations 1.2
    • Foreign support 1.3
    • Role of the media 1.4
    • Economic factors 1.5
  • Elections and protests 2
  • Change of power 3
    • International involvement 3.1
  • Adjara 4
  • International effects 5
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

Precipitating factors

Fragmentation of the political elite

  • "Georgia's Rose Revolution: A Participant's Perspective" U.S. Institute of Peace Report, July 2006
  • HumanRights.ge – daily updated online magazine and web portal on human rights in Georgia

External links

  • Michael Barker, "Regulating revolutions in Eastern Europe: Polyarchy and the National Endowment for Democracy", 1 November 2006
  • Dan Jakopovich, The 2003 "Rose Revolution" in Georgia: A Case Study in High Politics and Rank-and-File Execution, Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, August, 2007.
  • Tinatin Khidasheli, "The Rose Revolution has wilted", International Herald Tribune, Paris, 8 December 2004

Further reading

  1. ^ Wheatley, Jonathan (2005). Georgia From National Awakening to Rose Revolution. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. pp. 85, 155. 
  2. ^ Welt, Cory (2006). "Georgia's Rose Revolution: From Regime Weakness to Regime Collapse". Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
  3. ^ Bunce, Valerie (2011). Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Postcommunist Countries. NY: Cambridge University Press. p. 156. 
  4. ^ Welt, Cory (2006). "Georgia's Rose Revolution: From Regime Weakness to Regime Collapse". Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
  5. ^ Welt, Cory (2006). "Georgia's Rose Revolution: From Regime Weakness to Regime Collapse". Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
  6. ^ Bunce, Valerie (2011). Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Postcommunist Countries. NY: Cambridge University Press. p. 157. 
  7. ^ Welt, Cory (2006). "Georgia's Rose Revolution: From Regime Weakness to Regime Collapse". Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
  8. ^ Fairbanks, Charles (2004). "Georgia's Rose Revolution". Journal of Democracy. 2 15: 113.  
  9. ^ Wheatley, Jonathan (2005). Georgia From National Awakening to Rose Revolution. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. p. 145. 
  10. ^ Wheatley, Jonathan (2005). Georgia From National Awakening to Rose Revolution. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. pp. 146–147. 
  11. ^ Wheatley, Jonathan (2005). Georgia From National Awakening to Rose Revolution. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. p. 146. 
  12. ^ Tudoroiu, Theodor (2007). "Rose, Orange, and Tulip: The Failed post-Soviet Revolutions". Communist and Post Communist Studies 40 (1): 322.  
  13. ^ Wheatley, Jonathan (2005). Georgia From National Awakening to Rose Revolution. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. p. 179. 
  14. ^ Bunce, Valerie (2011). Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Postcommunist Countries. NY: Cambridge University Press. p. 155. 
  15. ^ Welt, Cory (2006). "Georgia's Rose Revolution: From Regime Weakness to Regime Collapse". Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
  16. ^ Welt, Cory (2006). "Georgia's Rose Revolution: From Regime Weakness to Regime Collapse". Center for Strategic and International Studies. 
  17. ^ Fairbanks, Charles (2004). "Georgia's Rose Revolution". Journal of Democracy. 2 15: 113.  
  18. ^ Fairbanks, Charles (2004). "Georgia's Rose Revolution". Journal of Democracy. 2 15: 113.  
  19. ^ Bunce, Valerie (2011). Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Postcommunist Countries. NY: Cambridge University Press. p. 155. 
  20. ^ Welt, Corey. "Causes of the Rose Revolution". Presented to the United States Agency for International Aid: 8. 
  21. ^ Anable, David (2006). "The Role of Georgia's Media and Western Aid in the Rose Revolution". The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 11 (7): 14.  
  22. ^ Anable, David (2006). "The Role of Georgia's Media and Western Aid in the Rose Revolution". The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 11 (7): 15–16.  
  23. ^ Fairbanks, Charles (2004). "Georgia's Rose Revolution". Journal of Democracy. 2 15: 113.  
  24. ^ Anable, David (2006). "The Role of Georgia's Media and Western Aid in the Rose Revolution". The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 11 (7): 16–17.  
  25. ^ Anable, David (2006). "The Role of Georgia's Media and Western Aid in the Rose Revolution". The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 11 (7): 17.  
  26. ^ Anable, David (2006). "The Role of Georgia's Media and Western Aid in the Rose Revolution". The Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics 11 (7): 20.  
  27. ^ de Wall, Thomas (2010). The Caucasus: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 192. 
  28. ^ Papava, Vladimer (2006). "The Political Economy of Georgia's Rose Revolution". Orbis 50 (4): 660.  
  29. ^ Welt, Corey. "Causes of the Rose Revolution". Presented to the United States Agency for International Aid: 8. 
  30. ^ Bunce, Valerie (2011). Defeating Authoritarian Leaders in Postcommunist Countries. NY: Cambridge University Press. p. 154. 
  31. ^ de Wall, Thomas (2010). The Caucasus: An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 192. 
  32. ^ Taylor, John (2004). "Economic Freedom and Georgia's Rose Revolution". Presented to the Caucasus Business School. 
  33. ^ Tudoroiu, Theodor (2007). "Rose, Orange, and Tulip: The Failed post-Soviet Revolutions". Communist and Post Communist Studies 40 (1): 320.  
  34. ^ Papava, Vladimer (2006). "The Political Economy of Georgia's Rose Revolution". Orbis 50 (4): 661.  
  35. ^ Wheatley, Jonathan (2005). Georgia From National Awakening to Rose Revolution. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. pp. 85, 155. 
  36. ^ Tudoroiu, Theodor (2007). "Rose, Orange, and Tulip: The Failed post-Soviet Revolutions". Communist and Post Communist Studies 40 (1): 320.  
  37. ^ Tudoroiu, Theodor (2007). "Rose, Orange, and Tulip: The Failed post-Soviet Revolutions". Communist and Post Communist Studies 40 (1): 319–321.  
  38. ^ Taylor, John (2004). "Economic Freedom and Georgia's Rose Revolution". Presented to the Caucasus Business School. 
  39. ^ OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Visits Georgia. Civil Georgia. 21 Nov.'03
  40. ^ Stephen Jones, "Georgia’s “Rose Revolution” of 2003: Enforcing Peaceful Change", in Adam Roberts and Timothy Garton Ash (eds.), Civil Resistance and Power Politics: The Experience of Non-violent Action from Gandhi to the Present. Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2009, pp. 317-334. ISBN 978-0-19-955201-6.[6]
  41. ^ http://www.defenddemocracy.org/in_the_media/in_the_media_show.htm?doc_id=225687
  42. ^ http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2005/5/31/164945.shtml
  43. ^ Bunce, V.J & Wolchik, S.L. International diffusion and postcommunist electoral revolutions Communist and Post-Communist Studies (2006) V.39 No 3 p. 283-304

References

See also

[43] The

International effects

In May 2004, the so-called "Second Rose Revolution" took place in Special Forces into the region. Abashidze bowed to the inevitable, resigned in the same evening and left for Moscow. President Saakashvili visited Batumi the next day and was met by celebrating Adjarans.

Adjara

The amount of international involvement created a variety of conspiracy theories. The most popular implies that the United States was responsible for the overthrow of Shevardnadze. Many non-governmental organizations from the U.S. were in Georgia actively educating the people on human rights and the ideals of democracy. Also, the U.S. Ambassador in Georgia at the time, Richard Miles was also the U.S. Ambassador in Belgrade coincidentally during the Bulldozer Revolution.

These institutions were the cradle of democratization, notably the Soros Foundation ... all the NGOs which gravitate around the Soros Foundation undeniably carried the revolution. However, one cannot end one’s analysis with the revolution and one clearly sees that, afterwards, the Soros Foundation and the NGOs were integrated into power.
— Salomé Zourabichvili, Herodote (magazine of the French Institute for Geopolitics), April, 2008

Former Georgian Foreign Minister Salomé Zourabichvili wrote:

  • Soros Foundation), overseeing a staff of 50 and a budget of $2,500,000.[4]
  • David Darchiashvili, presently the chairman of the Committee for Eurointegration in the Georgian parliament, is also a former Executive Director of the Open Society Georgia Foundation.[5]

Among the personalities who worked for Soros' organizations who later assumed positions in the Georgian government are:

A significant source of funding for the Rose Revolution was the network of foundations and [42]

One of the biggest forms of international involvement was with George Soros and the Open Society Foundation located in the United States. A non-governmental organization that’s mission is to promote democracy, human rights, and reform in various areas, such as the economy helped in the making of Kmara, a student movement that was brought to Serbia by the foundation to get insight for the resistance, particularly training in nonviolent methods of protest. Translating as “Enough,” it resembled a Serbian organization that played a heavy role in the Bulldozer Revolution that happened three years prior and which ended the presidency of Slobodan Milošević in Yugoslavia.

The United States felt the revolution was a good opportunity to make a serious attempt in the establishment of democracy not only in Georgia, but the region it was in. The U.S. Agency for International Development was reported to have spent $1.5 million on modernizing Georgia’s voting system. They also invested in 3,000 election observers throughout the country.

Many countries watched Georgia transition from an autocracy to a democracy, but the key players were primarily Russia and the United States. Russia was suspected of being involved in Georgia’s affairs from the beginning as it was assumed to have been involved in various coup and assassination attempts of Shevardnadze. Georgia, a state that was previously under Soviet influence, took independence in the 1990s, but saw much disarray in the form of separatist Groups, particularly those that were Russian-backed.

International involvement

After being elected, Saakashvili wasted no time in passing a series of legislation and reforms. Criticized as being very “pro-western,” his agenda was able to improve the country’s economy and launch a new anti-corruption campaign. He was able to bring the country’s rating according to the World Bank from 122nd to 18th in the world by expanding the banking sector by 40 percent, increasing foreign investment to $3 billion, and maintaining an annual growth of 9.5%.

Following the resignation of Eduard Shevardnadze, new elections were planned to bring power to a new leader. The outgoing speaker of parliament, Nino Burjanadze, assumed the presidency until new elections could be held. The new parliamentary elections were held, with a large majority won by the Saakashvili-supporting National Movement - Democrats, and a minority representation of the Rightist Opposition.

Saakashvili's inauguration as President of Georgia

The opposition protest reached its peak on November 22, when President Shevardnadze attempted to open the new session of parliament. This session was considered illegitimate by two of the four major opposition parties. Supporters of two of those parties, led by Saakashvili, burst into the session with roses in their hands (hence the name Rose Revolution), interrupting a speech of President Eduard Shevardnadze and forcing him to escape with his bodyguards. He later declared a state of emergency and began to mobilize troops and police near his residence in Tbilisi. However, the elite military units refused to support the government. In the evening of November 23 (Igor Ivanov. After the meeting, the president announced his resignation. That prompted euphoria in the streets of Tbilisi. More than 100,000 protesters celebrated the victory all night long, accompanied by fireworks and rock concerts.

Change of power

In mid-November, massive antigovernmental demonstrations started in the central streets of Tbilisi, soon involving almost all major cities and towns of Georgia in a concerted campaign of Liberty Institute, were active in all protest activities. Shevardnadze’s government was backed by Aslan Abashidze, the semi-separatist leader of the autonomous Adjara region, who sent thousands of his supporters to hold a pro-governmental counter-demonstration in Tbilisi.

On 3 November the International Election Observation Mission, composed of the Parliamentary Assemblies of the OSCE and the Council of Europe, the European Parliament and the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), concluded that the 2 November parliamentary elections in Georgia fell short of a number of OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections.[39] Mikheil Saakashvili claimed that he had won the elections (a claim supported by independent civil disobedience against the authorities. The main democratic opposition parties united to demand the ousting of Shevardnadze and the rerun of the elections.

Georgia held George W. Bush sent former secretary of state James Baker to meet with both opposition leaders and President Shevardnadze. To the latter, Baker delivered a letter from Bush sternly stressing the need for free elections. Baker proposed a formula for representation of the various parties on the electoral commissions at each level. Shevardnadze agreed, but immediately began maneuvering against the Baker formula.

Elections and protests

Corruption among state officials and police, while not new, was certainly exacerbated by Georgia's lack of budget revenue. The official salary of a Georgian state minister was around 150 Lari in 1998 (approximately US$75). Low pay forced many state employees to turn to alternative sources of income, often involving corrupt activities.[35] President Shevardnadze came to be seen as a man who was unwilling to break the Soviet patterns of personal power, political corruption, and authoritarian rule embedded in traditional Soviet cadre politics.[36] Corruption had become so rampant, that off-the-record deals may have accounted for 60-70% of Georgia's total economic activity.[37] The Shevardnadze regime was not seen as being capable of addressing corruption. Opposition candidates, such as Saakashvili, could successfully gain much support with an anti-corruption political platform.[38]

In the period before 2003, the growth rate of the Georgian economy fell. The 1998 economic crisis in Russia, Georgia's main energy provider and trade partner, put an end to Georgia's modest recovery.[30] While there was some economic growth in 2003, a budgetary crisis weakened the state. The Georgian government's meager program of public goods and basic services had been chronically underfunded for years.[31] By the end of 2003, debt in the form of unpaid salaries and pensions reached $120 million. Deterioration of public infrastructure was also poorly addressed by Shevardnadze's government. Georgian businesses lost an average of 110 business days per year because of failures in infrastructure (usually in the energy sector).[32] The state was unable to repair the crumbling infrastructure or consistently enforce the law.[33] Social conditions also further deteriorated, with over half of the population finding itself under the poverty line, creating even greater dissatisfaction with the Shevardnadze administration.[34]

The susceptibility of Shevardnadze's government and his plummeting popularity between 2000-2003 can partially be traced to economic problems and mismanagement. Beginning in 1998, actual national budget revenues began to fall far short of projections. In 1999, the Georgian state collected only 70% of its projected revenue, a state of affairs that would continue through 2003. To address this problem, the government began to use deceptive accounting techniques to mask budget deficiencies.[28] Shevardnadze's government found itself both starved of funds and unable to meet IMF standards for international loans. The IMF finally suspended its own funding for Georgia in 2002. Without access to international loans, Georgia would not be able to restructure or repay its significant debts.[29]

Economic factors

While still the target of government harassment, Rustavi-2 continued to air anti-Shevardnadze material until 2003. This included the repeated airing of Bringing Down a Dictator, a film portraying the fall of Slobodan Milošević in the nonviolent Serbian revolution. Other networks, such as Imedi television and Mze began to report on the political process more objectively, possibly influenced by Rustavi-2's defiance.[26] Rustavi-2 would eventually be the network to commission and broadcast the exit poll results of the 2003 parliamentary election, which found Saakashvili's National Movement party victorious over the pro-Shevardnadze bloc.[27]

[25] Two events in 2001 caused an outcry of public opinion against the government. In July, a popular anchor for the Rustavi-2 network,

An important factor in the Rose Revolution was the independent television channel Eastern Bloc.[21] Nonetheless, the government tried repeatedly to shut Rustavi-2 down. The station operated out of Tbilisi and managed to survive the regime's harassment and intimidation techniques. Rustavi-2 was partially financially supported, trained, and sometimes protected by USAID and the Eurasia Foundation, which often mobilized public and international support to prevent government interference in the station's reporting.[22] The broadcasts of Rustavi-2 ended up being instrumental in building the opposition and encouraging protest.

Role of the media

[19] In the three years before the Rose Revolution, foreign financial support for the regime began to become severely limited. Instead, foreign states and organizations gave financial assistance to NGOs and opposition parties within Georgia, worsening the desperate budget situation of the Shevardnadze government. The United States announced a reduction in aid, coinciding with a decision by the

Foreign support for the Shevardnadze regime declined from 2000 to 2003, with notable figures outwardly calling for a more democratic transition.[14] These included Bush administration, including a visit from James Baker (the former U.S. Secretary of State) who pressured Shevardnadze to accept parallel vote tabulation and pushed for free election standards.[15]

Foreign support

Shevardnadze had allowed the development of NGOs before the Rose Revolution, and numerous large and relatively uninhibited NGOs were able to operate in Georgia prior to the 2003 parliamentary elections. Georgia's weak economy allowed these NGOs, who were often partially foreign funded, to pay decent salaries that would not have been available in working for the Georgian state.[12] As early as the Summer of 2002, there was great concern amongst the leaders of Georgia's most influential NGOs that Shevardnadze was not prepared to relinquish power voluntarily, and that other ways to remove him from power might be necessary. Some of these leaders hoped to make the 'Serbian scenario' a reality in Georgia, in the sense that they wanted to promote non-violent protests to force the resignation of an authoritarian leader.[13] Before the Rose Revolution, a large network of NGOs with foreign financial support already existed in the country that could later coordinate protest.

NGOs (Liberty Institute, both of which were active in the promotion of human rights and freedom of information legislation before the Rose Revolution.[11]

Rise of non-governmental organizations

Following the disastrous 2002 local elections, Shevardnadze made a concerted attempt to rebuild a political coalition that could support him. The CUG was rebuilt before the 2003 parliamentary election, which was understood to be a key trial before the 2005 presidential election. However, President Shevardnadze's popularity rating had plummeted to around 5%, undermining any attempt to revive the CUG under his leadership. The new CUG further found itself divided over internal disputes, and lacking effective leadership to replace those that had defected.[8]

The collapse of the Citizens' Union of Georgia and more apparent public discontent with Shevardnadze allowed for the formation of numerous new parties after 2000.[6] The former ruling party showed its vulnerability in the 2002 local elections, losing decisively to independents and new parties. The local elections saw independents secure 2754 seats, with the New Rights Party (NRP) being the most successful political party, obtaining 558 parliamentary seats. The Citizens' Union of Georgia won only 70 out of approximately 4,850 parliamentary seats.[7]

The disintegration of the party highlighted the weakness of the Shevardnadze regime and dispersed the political elite amongst a number of new parties and independent platforms. [5]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.