Schnellrecherche der SFH-Länderanalyse vom 23. Juni 2016 zu Georgien: Partei «Vereinte nationale Bewegung» (United National Movement (UNM)) - PDF

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Schnellrecherche der SFH-Länderanalyse vom 23. Juni 2016 zu Georgien: Partei «Vereinte nationale Bewegung» (United National Movement (UNM)) Fragen an die SFH-Länderanalyse: Welche Informationen gibt es

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Schnellrecherche der SFH-Länderanalyse vom 23. Juni 2016 zu Georgien: Partei «Vereinte nationale Bewegung» (United National Movement (UNM)) Fragen an die SFH-Länderanalyse: Welche Informationen gibt es zur georgischen Partei «(Vereinte) nationale Bewegung» (United National Movement (UNM))? Gibt es Berichte von Gewalt und Repression gegen Mitglieder der UNM? Bieten staatliche Behörden Mitgliedern der UNM Schutz vor diesen Übergriffen? Die Informationen beruhen auf einer zeitlich begrenzten Recherche (Schnellrecherche) in öffentlich zugänglichen Dokumenten, die uns derzeit zur Verfügung stehen. 1 Partei «Vereinte nationale Bewegung» (UNM). Das «United National Movement» (UNM) ist eine Oppositionspartei in Georgien und war 2003 bis 2012 an der Macht. Während den Wahlen im Oktober 2012 wurde die UNM nach Angaben einer Auskunft des Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB) vom 11. Mai 2015 durch die aktuell regierende «Georgian Dream Coalition» geschlagen. Laut derselben Quelle wurde die Partei UNM im Jahr 2001 gegründet und wird als «zentrumsrechts» und nationalistische Partei beschrieben. Der frühere Präsident Mikheil Saakashvili ist weiterhin der Anführer der Partei, hat aber nach Angaben des Artikels der Jamestown Foundation vom 9. Dezember 2015 das Land im Jahr 2013 verlassen. Ihm wurde laut derselben Quelle im Dezember 2015 mittels eines Dekrets des aktuellen Präsidenten Giorgi Margvelashvili die Staatsbürgerschaft mit der Begründung entzogen, dass er die ukrainische Staatsbürgerschaft angenommen hatte. Laut des Artikels der Jamestown Foundation vom 9. Dezember 2015 wird die Partei zurzeit von internen Machtkämpfen destabilisiert. Die Abwesenheit von Saakashvili schwäche die Partei weiter. Laut einer Umfrage vom August 2015 habe die Partei eine Unterstützung von lediglich 13 Prozent. Sie kämpfe zurzeit darum, überhaupt noch eine politische Rolle im Land zu spielen. Nach Angaben eines weiteren Artikels der Jamestown Foundation vom 18. Dezember 2015 handelt es sich aber weiterhin um die einflussreichste Oppositionspartei in Georgien. Jamestown Foundation, 9. Dezember 2015: «United National Movement (UNM), Georgia s once powerful political party, which spent nine years ( ) in power, is in serious trouble. The start of December 2015 brought new revelations of the party s internal power struggle and fragmentation, which turns out to be much deeper than previously believed. On December 3, the Ukrainian website Uarevo published a wiretapped ph one conversation between Goka Gabashvili, one of the highest ranking UNM members and a confidante of Georgia s former president Mikhail Saakashvili, and his brother Lado Gabashvili. In a seven-minute phone conversation, Goka Gabashvili, using highly expletive language, allegedly calls Saakashvili power crazed and accuses him, as well as Georgia s former attorney general Zurab Adeishvii and the former minister of interior Bacho Akhalaia, of trying to sideline himself as well as former secretary of national security Giga Bokeria and former Tbilisi mayor Gigi Ugulava. In this brief conversation, Goka Gabashvili reveals an apparent intense power struggle happening within the party between two major clans: that of Saakashvili versus Bokeria- Ugulava.( ) The rapid defection of its members is not the party s only problem. With Saakashvili out of the country as of 2013, UNM remains largely leaderless. Although the former president is still UNM s formal head, his physical absence from Georgia certainly contributed to the power vacuum and subsequently to the internal power struggle that was revealed by the released audio tape of the Gabashvili brothers. Saakashvili s grasp over UNM thus appears to b e slipping away.( ) UNM s dismal popular support adds to its internal problems. The party that ruled Georgia with a constitutional super majority for nine years now enjoys a mere 13 percent of the public s support, according to the latest polls (Ndi.org, August 2015). With such low popularity numbers, the party may find it difficult to stay in Georgian politics, let alone fight its way back to power. The UNM failed to acknowledge or apologize for the past abuses of power it has been criticized. In addition, it has not been able to attract any new faces within its ranks. Consequently, it is unclear how it can improve its public support in the months and years to come. The most recent blow to UNM to date was President Giorgi Margvelashvili s decree, on December 4, which stripped Saakashvili of his Georgian citizenship. The former head of state, now the governor of Ukraine s Odesa region, automatically lost his Georgian citizenship when he was granted Ukrainian citizenship in May President Margvelashvili s decree merely finalized this procedure. The political significance of the loss of Saakashvili s Georgian citizenship is much bigger, however. According to the country s law on political parties, only Georgian citizens can participate in elections (Civil Georgia, December 4). Hence, Saakashvili lost the ability to run in the 2016 (and further) elections, which effectively deprives UNM and the party s remaining supporters of a strong personality for whom they could vote on election day. During his presidency, Saakashvili many times asserted that UNM, which he established in 2001 and turned it into a powerful ruling party, would outlive him. But as the events since 2012 show, that may no longer be the case. UNM seems to be on a path of disintegration; and so far, it is not clear how this process can be stopped. Another question is which party will take the elusive role of the main Georgian opposition party if UNM further weakens politically and organizationally. Like never before, this spot now appears ripe for the taking. Quelle: Jamestown Foundation: Georgia s Once Powerful Former Ruling Party Is in Danger of Fragmentation, in: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume, 12 Issue, 219, 9. Dezember 2015: =91a80f016e186f79a235448f4ef944bf. Georgien UNM Schnellrecherche Seite 2 von 17 Jamestown Foundation, 18. Dezember 2015: «On the night of December 9, unidentified assailants attacked an office of the most influential opposition party of Georgia, United National Movement (UNM), in the town of Dedoplistskaro, near the capital of Tbilisi (Civil Georgia, December 10). Former Georgian president ( ) and the current governor of Odesa oblast in Ukraine (since May 2015), Mikheil Saakashvili, still chairs the UNM. Current President Giorgi Margvelashvili has recently signed a decree that st ripped his predecessor of Georgian citizenship, citing Saakashvili s adoption of Ukrainian citizenship (Georgiatoday.ge, December 4). Despite that development, one of the leaders of UNM, Nugzar Tsiklauri, told this author, on December 10, that The opposition party does not have plans yet to elect a new chairman. It is possible that Saakashvili will retain his status in the party until the parliamentary elections, which are scheduled for the fall of 2016.» Quelle: Jamestown Foundation: Office of Largest Opposition Party in Georgia Comes Under Attack, in: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume, 12 Issue, 227, 18. Dezember 2015: =66a e cece71ad7b3fb7. IRB, Mai 2015: «United National Movement (UNM; ENM) - Overview and Mandate of Party Sources indicate that the UNM was formed in 2001 (RFE/RL 12 Nov. 2013; PHW 2014, 519). The Political Handbook of the World 2014 (PHW) describes the UNM as centre-right and nationalist (PHW 2014, 519). According to the same source, UN- M's platform focuses on economic and governmental reform, closer ties w ith the EU and US, and restoring control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia (PHW 2014, 519). According a 2015 opinion poll by the International Republican Institute (IRI), a non - profit, non-partisan organization encouraging freedom and democracy worldwide (IR I n.d.), as cited by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), support for the ruling Georgian Dream Coalition (GDC; GDM) was at 36 percent, support for the UNM at 14 percent, and support for the Free Democrats at 10 percent (RFE/RL 27 Mar. 2015). 1.1 Leadership Sources state that, as of April 2015, the leader or head of UNM is Mikheil Saakashvili (HRIDC 23 Apr. 2015; Professor 17 Apr. 2015). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a professor of international relations at the University of Oxford indicated that the former prime minister of Georgia, Vano Merabishvili, remains the secretary-general of the party, though he is currently incarcerated (Professor 17 Apr. 2015). PHW 2014 similarly notes that as of mid-2013, Merabishvili was under arrest (2014, 520). PHW 2014, citing information from 2013, lists the following other leading members of the party: Davit Bakradze (Chair of the Parliamentary Minority, 2013 presidential candidate, and Former Speaker of Parliament); Giorgi Gabashvili (Chair of the United National Movement faction in Parliament); Akaki Boboknidze (Chair of the National Movement-Majoritarians faction in Parliament); Tariel Londari- Georgien UNM Schnellrecherche Seite 3 von 17 dze (Chair of the National Movement-Regions faction in Parliament); and Gigi Ugulava (Mayor of Tbilisi). (ibid.) 1.2 Membership and Representation in Parliament In a November 2013 RFE/RL article, a political analyst in Tbilisi describes the UNM as having a well-ordered and motivated network throughout the whole country (RFE/RL 12 Nov. 2013). Information on UNM membership numbers in the country could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response. In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Human Rights Center (HRIDC), a Georgia-based NGO (HRIDC n.d.), stated that the UNM holds 50 seats in Georgia's 150 -seat Parliament (HRIDC 23 Apr. 2015). Other sources similarly report that the UNM holds 50 seats, while the ruling GDC holds 87 and the Free Democrats hold 8 (Civil.ge 21 Mar. 201; RFE/RL 27 Mar. 2015). According to the representative of HRIDC, the UNM's political council consists of 68 members (HRIDC 23 Apr. 2015) 1.3 History According to PHW 2014, the UNM, along with the United Democrats, the Union of National Security, and the youth movement Kmara, formed the United People's Alliance in 2003 (2014, 519). Sources report that the Rose Revolution [ a peaceable uprising (Encyclopaedia Britannica n.d.)] drove President Shevardnadze from power in 2003 (RFE/RL 12 Nov. 2013; Encyclopaedia Britannica n.d.); it was led by former justice minister and head of the UNM Mikheil Saakashvili (ibid.). According to PHW 2014, the UNM and United Democrats combined to form the National Movement-Democrats (NMD) party in early 2004, though the party later became known as the UNM; members of the United Democrats were reportedly absorbed into the UNM (PHW 2014, 522). According to the same source, in the March 2004 legislative elections, the UNM was the main party component in the NMD's win of 133 seats of the 150-seat Parliament (ibid.). Saakashvalili was elected president in 2004 (ibid., 514; Encyclopaedia Britannica n.d.). According to PHW 2014, the UNM secured approximately two-thirds of the vote in the October 2006 municipal elections (2014, 520). Saakashvili was reelected as president in January 2008 (ibid.; PHW 2014, 520). According to PHW 2014, Saakashvili was elected on a platform that called for restoration of Georgia's 'territorial integrity,' NATO membership for Georgia, closer ties with the EU, and the expansion of social welfare programs (ibid.). PHW 2014 reports that UNM won 119 of 150 seats in Parliament in the May 2008 legislative elections (2014, 520). PHW 2014 reports that in the June 2010 municipal elections, the UNM won 66 percent of the vote nationwide, including the mayorality of Tbilisi (2014, 520). Sources report that Saakshavili and the UNM were defeated in the October 2012 parliamentary elections by the GDC (Freedom House 2013; Jamestown Foundation 9 Jan. 2013); led by Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili (ibid.). The UNM won 65 seats (40 percent of the national vote), while the GDC won 85 seats (55 percent of Georgien UNM Schnellrecherche Seite 4 von 17 the national vote) (ibid.). Sources note that after his defeat, President Saakashvili declared that the UNM would serve as the opposition (ibid.; PHW 2014, 520). Freedom House states that the October 2012 elections were considered free and fair by international observers but that a number of electoral problems were observed during the elections, including abuse of administrative resources, intimidation of opposition supporters, tabulation irregularities, and an apparent pro -government bias in the activities of the State Audit Office (Freedom House 2013). Similarly, according to a report published by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), pursuant to their observation mission of the October 2012 parli amentary elections, the election process was assessed positively by international observers, and procedures were generally adhered to, although counting and tabulation received a less positive assessment (ODIHR 21 Dec. 2012, 3). According to the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based institution that provides research and analysis on conflict and instability in Eurasia (Jamestown Foundation n.d.), the country entered a period of political cohabitation between President Saakshavili and Prime Minister Ivanishvili following the 2012 election, with the GDC forming the government and setting the policy agenda and Saakashvili retaining immense constitutional powers, though his influence on Georgian politics... declined dramatically since the election (ibid. 9 Jan. 2013). Sources report that GDC candidate Giorgi Margveslashvili was elected president in the October 2013 presidential election (Freedom House 2014; PHW 2014, 511). According to sources, Margvelashvili won 62 percent of the vote, while UNM ca ndidate Davit Bakradze won 22 percent (Freedom House 2014; PHW 2014, 511), and Irakli Garibashvili was appointed as Prime Minister (ibid.). Freedom House reports that the 2013 presidential elections were widely regarded as free and fair (Freedom House 2014). Similarly, according to a report on Georgia's 2013 presidential election published by the Congressional Research Service, a legislative branch agency within the US Library of Congress that provides policy and legal analysis to members of Congress (US n.d.), most observers viewed the election as marking Georgia's progress in democratization, including a peaceful shift of presidential power from Saakshavili to Margveslashvili (US 4 Nov. 2013, Summary). However, the US Department of State's Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013 states that observers raised several concerns over the election, including allegations of political pressure at the local level, inconsistent application of the election code, and limited oversight of campaign finance violations (ibid. 27 Feb. 2014, 1). According to Human Rights Watch, ruling party GDC won the June and July 2014 municipal elections in an overwhelming victory (29 Jan. 2015, 252). RFE/RL reports that by February 2015, the value of the lari had declin ed and exports had decreased considerably (RFE/RL 27 Mar. 2015). According to the same source, the UNM and the Labor Party demanded the resignation of the ministers of economy and finance in February 2015 (ibid.). The RFE/RL article adds that on 21 March 2015, the UNM convened a demonstration in Tbilisi to demand that the government resign for its handling of the economy ; according to a UNM member cited in the article, between 10,000 to 30,000 people attended the demonstration (ibid.). According Georgien UNM Schnellrecherche Seite 5 von 17 to the article, the UNM is seeking to inititate a no-confidence vote in parliament against the GDC (ibid.).» Quelle: IRB Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Georgia: The United National Movement (UNM; ENM), including its mandate, leadership, membership, representation in the country and history; treatment by authorities and opposition party members, including the Georgia Dream Coalition (GDC; GDM; Georgian Dream); state protection available (2001-April 2015), 11. Mai 2015: 2 Gewalt und Repression gegen politische Opposition (UNM), beschränkte Schutzmöglichkeiten Gewalt gegen Opposition. Gemäss dem Bericht des US Department of State (US- DOS) vom 13. April 2016 ist die Versammlungs- und Vereinigungsfreiheit in Georgien eingeschränkt und es kommt zu Gewalt gegen die politische Opposition. Inhaftierungen von UNM-Aktivisten, UNM-Politikerinnen und -Politikern. USDOS (2016) berichtet zudem, dass Mitglieder der Oppositionspartei die Regierung beschuldigen, politisch motivierte Verhaftungen und Inhaftierun gen durchzuführen. So seien der frühere Innenminister und der frühere Bürgermeister von Tiflis sowie weitere UNM-Aktivisten inhaftiert worden. IRB berichtete im Mai 2015 ebenfalls von verschiedenen Inhaftierungen und Strafverfolgungen gegen UNM-Politikerinnen und UNM-Politiker oder ehemalige, der UNM angehörende, Regierungsbeamte. Hinweise auf staatliche Überwachung der politischen Opposition. Laut USDOS (2016) wird von NGOs und weiteren Beobachtern befürchtet, dass die Regierung trotz entgegenlaufender Bestimmungen in Verfassung und Gesetzen die politische Opposition überwacht. Juristisches Vorgehen gegen UNM-nahe Medien. Nach Angaben von USDOS (2016) wurde ein juristisches Vorgehen gegen einen UNM-nahen TV-Sender vom Herbst 2015 durch verschiedene diplomatische Missionen in einem gemeinsamen Statement als besorgniserregend bezeichnet. Durch das Vorgehen sei die Unabhängigkeit der Justiz und die Freiheit der Medien in Frage gestellt. Druck und Kündigungen gegen Mitglieder und Anhänger der Opposition sowie lokale Regierungsangestellte, Lehrpersonal, Gewerkschaftsmitglieder. USDOS (2016) berichtet weiter, dass einige Repräsentanten der Regierung sowie Anhänger der Regierungspartei verschiedene Mitglieder und Anhänger der Opposition, zentrale und lokale Regierungsangestellte, Lehrer wie auch Gewerkschaftsmitglieder unter Druck setzen. Dies einerseits durch Überwachung und tatsächlichen oder angedrohten Verlust der Arbeitsstelle. Die Auskunft des IRB (2015), welche sich auf verschiedene Quellen beruft, berichtet ebenfalls von gegen UNM-Mitglieder gerichtete Entlassungen und Drohungen, die Arbeitsstelle «freiwillig» zu kündigen oder stattdessen strafrechtliche Konsequenzen in Kauf zu nehmen. Die Reaktion der Regierung auf Entlassungen von lokalen UNM-nahen Regierungsangestellten sei ungenügend ausgefallen. Laut derselben Quelle haben Medien und NGOs in der Vorwahlperiode zum Juni und Juli 2014 zudem von verschiedenen Anschuldigungen berichtet, dass Kandidatinnen und Kandidaten der Opposition unter Druck gesetzt worden seien, ihre Kandidaturen für die Wahlen zurückzuziehen. Georgien UNM Schnellrecherche Seite 6 von 17 Berichte von aktuellen Übergriffen gegen UNM-Büros und keinem angemessenen staatlichen Schutz. Im Oktober 2015 wurden laut USDOS (2016) und dem neuesten Jahresbericht von Amnesty International vom Februar 2016 UNM-Büros in Tiflis und in anderen Regionen unter anderem durch regierungsnahe Aktivisten und lokale Behördenvertreter gezielt angegriffen. Strafverfolgungsbehörden hätten laut des Berichts von USDOS nicht angemessen reagiert und Schutz geboten. Die Jamestown Foundation berichtete im Dezember 2015 von einem neuen Angriff auf Büros der UNM in Dedoplistskaro. Dabei wurden von Unbekannten Schüsse auf das Büro abgegeben. IRB (2015) berichtet mit Bezug auf verschiedene Quellen zudem von gewalttätigen Übergriffen im März 2015 gegen UNM-Büros und Büros einer UNM-nahen Gruppierung in Zugdidi. Gemäss IRB (2015) gaben verschiedene Quellen an, dass die Polizei bei den Übergriffen im März 2015 anwesend war, aber die Gewalt nicht verhindert habe. Premierminister
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