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Sunday, 23 October 2016


Gamsakhurdia – Georgia’s suicidal pioneer?

2010-09-20 11:39

7718.jpegGeorgia is all of a quiver: it turns out that Georgia's first president Zviad Gamsakhurdia laid hands on himself! At least, this is what Robinson Margvelani, head of his personal security service states. He has already given related evidence in an interview for the parliamentary commission investigating into reasons of the Georgian former leader's death. No wonder in the run-up to the parliamentary and presidential election all interested parties are ready for all kinds of games including active discussion of the life and death of the person who took control of the brand-new sovereign state.


Evidently, Gamsakhurdia was a controversial figure in Georgia's political history. Even his rivals admit: he was sincere in his love for the country, but as the leader of the state he was a complete failure. A nationalist, sometimes a fascist, was devoted to his nationalist politics calling Georgians to get united against Armenians, Ossetians and Abkhazians. He caused escalation of the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict and the dreadful form it had in 2008 was Gamsakhurdia's heritage after he had split Georgia into several parts 20 years before.

Remarkably, today's Georgians flaunt their nation-wide referendum on restoration of independence of the state with 98.9% of the electorate voting for secession from the USSR. But do they remember Zviad Gamsakhurdia directly stating that those who would vote against Georgia's sovereignty will be denied Georgian citizenship? However, it was the nice way Georgia stepped on the democratic path still pursued by current leader Mikheil Saakashvili who is frequently compared with the first president and acknowledged as his follower.

This comparison played into Mishiko's hands in autumn 2003 when he carried out his first PR-campaign - the Rose Revolution - and "acceded to the throne" of Georgia, flattered by a high rating. It was then that Zviad Gamsakhurdia's personality was back into public spotlight.  The opposition led by Saakashvili that overthrew Edward Shevarnadze was taking advantage of the fact that the mother of Georgian current leader belongs to the Mengrel subethnic group of the Georgian nation (by half). So does the Gamsakhurdia clan.

Besides, the second move in Saakashvili's self-promotion game was reburial of the first president. On Mikheil Nikolozovich's personal order Gamsakhurdia's ashes were removed from Grozny, where the latter had a really great time patronized by Chechen secessionists - Jokhar Dudayev, in particular. As we know, in 2007 he was buried in the pantheon of statal and public figures of Georgia, not elsewhere. That was done right: after all Zviad Konstantinovich really "did" a lot. He really deserve both honors and successors.

However, despite strained attempts by Georgia's current presiden to pattern himself on Gamsakhurdia and replicate his policies, he does make not much progress, in fact. Probably because the first president was advocating slightly different ideas. At least, this is what Paata Zakareishvili, a conflictologist and a Republican Party member, is absolutely confident in thinking that Mishiko is unable to love anyone except for himself and his power he has been reveling in for the second term.

- Saakashvili has no love for Georgia: his only concern is how to retain power even at the cost of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And Gamsakhurdia simply could not rule the country though he did want to. He could have struggled for power if he had acted differently. The only reason why "pro-Zviadists" might love Saakashvili is that he dethroned Gamsakhurdia's bitterest enemy - Edward Shevarnadze. Still, Mishiko has nothing in common with him. They are antipodes: Saakashvili couldn't care for Georgia less.

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