"The Georgians are taking a stand against Vladimir Putin, where is the West?" - This letter of one of the leaders of the opposition Salome Samadashvili under this headline was published in the "Washington Post."
The member of the National Movement recalls the developments on June 20 and writes that the fundamental problem for Georgia"s western future is bigger than Gavrilov or Gakharia.
According to Samadashvili, Bidzina Ivanishvili is replicating Putin’s system of rule. But in a country a hundred times smaller than Russia, the result looks more like state capture.
"If Ivanishvili succeeds in destroying democracy, it would be Putin’s victory and Georgia’s tragedy. Moreover, it would be a loss for American and European interests in the region. Time and again, the people of Georgia have chosen the West. Now the West must choose Georgia. It is time to remind Ivanishvili that the West stands with the Georgian people — and that this support will continue, with or without him.
Georgia’s international partners must send a clear message. Ivanishvili must deliver on his promise to implement a fully proportional electoral system by next year, stop harassing critics from media, civil society, and the opposition, and publicly acknowledge that he is ready to relinquish power through free and fair elections — as did former president Mikheil Saakashvili in 2013.
Georgia’s summer of discontent is an inflection point that should not be underestimated. There are two possible outcomes: another victory for Putin’s illiberalism, or a chance to prove him wrong." - reads Salome Samadashvili"s article.