By Zaur Shiriyev
December 20th, 2016, The CACI Analyst
Georgia’s recent parliamentary election is hard to distinguish from previous elections in terms of the consolidation of power by the ruling Georgian Dream party. However, a significant difference can be observed in the increased political participation among ethnic Azerbaijanis, most clearly manifested in the number of Azerbaijani-origin candidates who not only ran but were elected, as well as their age and diverse political belonging. This recent shift has introduced a new level of electoral competition, bringing with it the complexities of party politics. The ruling party provides resources to support its own candidates – as seen when two Azerbaijanis lost amid claims of electoral violations.
By Natalia Konarzewska
November 25th, 2016, The CACI Analyst
Georgia held parliamentary elections on October 8 and 30. Georgia’s ruling party, Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) emerged decisively victorious and was able to secure a constitutional majority after a run-off election in the end of October. Although GDDG was able to gain widespread support, the low turnout suggests disappointment among voters, caused especially by the failure of Georgian authorities to counter the country’s economic downturn and worsening socio-economic conditions. International observers described the elections as well-administered and competitive, but the turbulent campaign sparked fears of violence in the aftermath of the elections.
By Eka Janashia
September 29th, the CACI Analyst
In the beginning of September, Georgia’s Central Election Commission (CEC) registered 23 parties and 6 electoral blocs to run in the October 8 parliamentary elections.
They will contest for 77 seats via a proportional party-list system and must clear the 5 percent threshold in the nationwide popular vote to enter the 150-member Parliament. The remaining 73 seats are allocated for single-member districts under a majoritarian system, where majoritarian MPs have to win over 50 percent of the votes in order to win outright in the first round or compete in a second round after 25 days.
By Edward Lemon
February 29th, 2016, The CACI Analyst
Having outlawed the country’s leading opposition movement, the Islamic Renaissance Party, in 2015, President Rahmon is seeking to further cement his position. On December 9, the Tajik parliament unanimously passed a new law naming him “leader of the nation” and “originator of peace and national reconciliation.” This effectively lifts him above the law, guaranteeing impunity for him and his family. On January 13, parliament backed amendments to the constitution, lowering the age limit for presidential candidates to 30. This would allow Rahmon’s eldest son, 28-year-old Rustam, to run in the next election scheduled for 2020. Further amendments to the constitution, which will fully legalize Rahmon’s new position and pave the way for him to rule indefinitely, will be put to a referendum in the coming months.
By Armen Grigoryan
December 29th, 2015, The CACI Analyst
Armenia’s constitutional referendum has stimulated a debate about the future of the country’s political regime, including the issue of succession after President Serzh Sargsyan’s second and last term in office. The ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) is seeking to secure its position in the long term, which will in essence pave the way for a formal multi-party system with a de facto strongman rule, similar to Russia and several other post-Soviet states. The opposition viewed the referendum as another opportunity to contest the government at the polls. However, Armenia’s current economic, social and foreign policies are unlikely to change.
The Central Asia-Caucasus Analyst is a biweekly publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Program, a Joint Transatlantic Research and Policy Center affiliated with the American Foreign Policy Council, Washington DC., and the Institute for Security and Development Policy, Stockholm. For 15 years, the Analyst has brought cutting edge analysis of the region geared toward a practitioner audience.