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The History of Georgia (Country) Politics

The History of Georgia (Country) Politics

The political history of Georgia, the country in the South Caucasus, is complex and has been shaped by a variety of internal and external factors. Here’s an overview of key events and developments in Georgian politics:

Early Independence and Soviet Era

First Republic (1918 until 1921)

  • After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia declared independence in 1918 and established the Democratic Republic of Georgia.
  • This period was marked by attempts to establish a democratic and Western-oriented state.
  • However, the First Republic was short-lived, as Soviet forces invaded in 1921, leading to Georgia’s incorporation into the Soviet Union.

Soviet Period (1921 until 1991)

  • Georgia was a Soviet Socialist Republic from 1921 until the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • The Soviet era saw significant social, economic, and political changes, with periods of repression and Russification.

Post-Soviet Independence

Independence (1991)

  • Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union on April 9, 1991.
  • The early post-Soviet period was marked by economic challenges, ethnic conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and political instability.

Eduard Shevardnadze Era (1992 until 2003)

  • Eduard Shevardnadze, a former Soviet foreign minister, played a prominent role in Georgian politics.
  • He served as the head of state from 1992 to 2003, facing challenges such as corruption, economic difficulties, and conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Rose Revolution (2003)

  • Widespread protests known as the Rose Revolution in November 2003 led to the resignation of Eduard Shevardnadze.
  • Mikheil Saakashvili, a key figure in the revolution, became the new president.

Mikheil Saakashvili Era (2004 until 2013)

  • Saakashvili’s presidency focused on democratic reforms, anti-corruption measures, and efforts to modernize the economy.
  • His tenure also witnessed the 2008 war with Russia over South Ossetia, which resulted in the de facto independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Constitutional Changes (2010)

In 2010, constitutional changes shifted significant executive powers from the presidency to the prime minister, reducing the president’s role.

Bidzina Ivanishvili and Georgian Dream (2012 until present)

  • In 2012, the Georgian Dream coalition led by Bidzina Ivanishvili won parliamentary elections, leading to a shift in power.
  • The presidency became more ceremonial, and executive authority shifted to the prime minister.
  • Bidzina Ivanishvili served as prime minister briefly in 2012-2013, and later, Irakli Garibashvili and Giorgi Kvirikashvili took on the role.

Recent Developments (2020s)

  • Salome Zourabichvili is the current president, serving in a largely ceremonial role.
  • Georgian Dream continues to be a major political force, while the political landscape remains dynamic.

For the latest and most detailed information, it’s advisable to consult current sources and news outlets.

Georgia has undergone several constitutional changes since gaining independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Below is an overview of key constitutional developments in the country:

First Constitution (1995)

  • The first post-Soviet constitution was adopted in 1995.
  • It established Georgia as a semi-presidential republic with a president as the head of state and a prime minister as the head of government.
  • This constitution provided for a multi-party system and democratic elections.

Constitutional Changes (2004)

  • In 2004, significant amendments were made to the constitution, particularly in response to the Rose Revolution that led to the resignation of President Eduard Shevardnadze.
  • The changes reduced the powers of the president and increased those of the parliament and the prime minister.
  • The president’s term was limited to two consecutive terms, and the direct election of the president was replaced by an indirect election through an electoral college.

Constitutional Changes (2010)

  • Further amendments were made to the constitution in 2010 during the presidency of Mikheil Saakashvili.
  • These changes, known as the Fourth Wave of Constitutional Reform, aimed at strengthening the parliamentary system and limiting the powers of the president.
  • The president’s role became more ceremonial, with executive authority shifted to the prime minister and the cabinet.

Transition to a Parliamentary Republic (2017 until 2018)

  • In 2017 until 2018, Georgia underwent a transition from a semi-presidential to a parliamentary republic.
  • The constitutional changes came into effect after the 2018 presidential election.
  • Under the new system, the president’s powers were further reduced, and the prime minister became the most powerful figure in the executive branch.

Constitutional Amendments (2020)

  • In 2020, additional constitutional amendments were adopted, primarily related to the electoral system.
  • The changes introduced a fully proportional electoral system for parliamentary elections, eliminating the mixed electoral system that had been in place.

Current Constitutional Framework

  • Georgia operates under a constitutional framework where the president has a largely ceremonial role, and executive authority is concentrated in the prime minister and the cabinet.
  • The constitution establishes a multi-party system and guarantees fundamental human rights and freedoms.

For the most up-to-date information on Georgia’s constitutional structure, it is recommended to consult current legal documents and official sources.

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