Georgia’s “red witch” hunt25.05.2011 | 17:32
Georgian parliament is set to adopt a draft law considerably cutting the rights of former CPSU members and disallowing them to take public office, work in the army or educational institutions etc. However, as Oleg Kulikov, a State Duma deputy, highlighted in an interview with GeorgiaTimes, this "witch hunt" looks more like a senseless fight with windmills.
Various projects that Georgian authorities invent to make people forget their Soviet past are introduced with persistence. Demolition of monuments and Soviet symbols, a new date for the Victory Day, ban on Russian songs are basically links of one and the same chain. It seems Mikheil Saakashvili sincerely believes that the West will accept these initiatives as genuinely democratic reforms allegedly pursued in Georgia. Freedom of mass media? Transparency of elections? No: according to the leaders of the republic, the only efficient way to turn Georgia into a European country is rewriting history.
From now on people "marred" with a party membership card will be denied positions in government of Georgia and presidential administration. Members of security structures will not be promoted higher than the rank of vice-colonel. Former members of the CPSU and Komsomol will not be allowed to work in higher educational institutions. Besides, the republic will continue to get rid of Soviet symbols around Georgia: a number of monuments and other architectural pieces that were unlucky to have a hammer and sickle, stars, or other attributed of the collapsed empire face the threat of being demolished.
Yet, the essence of these novelties has nothing to do with "democratization of Georgia", as the authorities assure. Although they are implemented under the notorious Freedom Charter - this is Georgia's another step toward the abyss of dictatorship and authoritarianism. Speaking about democracy, current authorities gradually make Georgia a totalitarian country. To justify failures the government starts looking for dissidents. Instead of former Communists these can be the opposition, external foes or common people that don't like the policies of the United National Movement.
As Oleg Kulikov, a State Duma deputy emphasized in an interview with GeorgiaTimes, all these limitations are purely populist. According to him, the youngest CPSU members are 60 years old and more. That means most of them can't work in public sector. "This is an openly populist law. It was adopted in other socialist countries with limitation of rights of former members of the CPSU. It is absolutely unlawful, in violation of presumption of innocence", - Kulikov remarked.
He thinks that Saakashvili's regime pursues an undisguised policy of "double standards" renouncing the Soviet past and using all achievements of that epoch. "In Georgia the party was in charge of many projects that now form the backbone of the country's economy. The industrial base, large industrial enterprises, health resorts - they all appeared at that period. Presently nothing is created. All so-called achievements rely on foreign loans. Loans that have to be repaid in the end", - the Russian parliamentarian reminded.
The deputy thinks that the initiative of his Georgian colleagues looks like an attempt to influence the public opinion and shift all failures of current rulers onto outsiders. "When the state has problems there is one popular solution - to find an enemy. As a result, we have CPSU members responsible for all troubles in Georgia", - our interlocutor explained.
Oleg Kulikov is sure that the law on lustration comes "from the outside" and is imposed on Georgian authorities for the purpose of further aggravation between Moscow and Tbilisi. This is an openly anti-Russian action. I don't think it's possible to live in tension with a neighbor that has done so much to protect the Georgian nation from genocide agreeing to sign George's tractate. Now the country leaders has an offended pose trying to put an equality mark between communism and Nazism, which is absolutely unacceptable for our state that conquered fascism", - the deputy summed up.