Georgia took a quantum leap forward in its democratization process when President Mikheil Saakashvili provided for a smooth transfer of power following his party’s defeat at the ballot box in early October. But rights advocates worry the incoming government headed by Bidzina Ivanishvili could quickly erase the gains that have been made, if it succumbs to public pressure and gets bogged down in efforts to right perceived wrongs committed by members of the outgoing team.
With a new government soon to be in power in Georgia, many Georgians are clamoring for revenge for alleged past wrongs. Many want relatives out of jail; others want property back. Some simply want officials suspected of abuses called to account for their conduct.
But Georgian human rights advocates warn that moving too fast on any of these counts would only cause further damage the country’s already troubled judicial system.
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Molly Corso is a freelance journalist who also works as editor of Investor.ge, a monthly publication by the American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia.