Georgia. According to
Countryaah official site, President Micheil Saakashvili and his government
faced extensive and violent protests during the year. In
January, peaceful demonstrations were held at the outset,
where war veterans demanded to regain lost social benefits.
Authorities arrested several protesters sentenced to a fine.
Inspired by the riots in North Africa, around 10,000
oppositionists gathered in the capital Tbilisi in May,
demanding the departure of Saakashvili. He was blamed for
the lost war against the Russian Federation in 2008 and for
failing to fight poverty in Georgia. The police used tear
gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
Hundreds of opposition activists were reported to have been
arrested in various cities. The protests continued for
several days but were eventually knocked down by the riot
police, and two people were killed and about 40 injured in
the violence. Over 100 people were arrested, and Saakashvili
accused them of attempting a coup. He said the Russian
Federation was behind the protests. Opposition leader Nino
Burdzjanadze's husband Badri Bitsadze was later prosecuted,
accused of organizing attacks on the police.
In June, a constitutional amendment was passed which
means that the Georgian Parliament in 2012 will be moved
from Tbilisi to the city of Kutaisi in western Georgia. The
opposition was critical to the costly construction of an
extravagant parliament building, but the government argued
that Kutaisi is a safer place for parliament, as Russian
military is within easy reach of Tbilisi. The constitutional
amendment also included restrictions on demonstrations.
In July, three photographers in Georgia were accused of
spying on President Saakashvili on behalf of the Russian
Federation. One of the three was Saakashvili's personal
photographer. About 50 journalists protested against the
arrests, which they considered to be politically based.
In August, Acting President Aleksandr Ankvab won the
presidential election in the Aboriginal Republic of
Abkhazia, since the previous president passed away. Russian
Federation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attended the
funeral of the departed leader. The Russian Federation has
recognized Abkhazia as independent.
Georgia's response to Russian support for Abkhazia was a
multimillion effort on tourism in Anaklia on the Black Sea,
near the border with Abkhazia. During the year, among other
things, hotel and a new airport.
In September, 15 opposition activists were sentenced to
prison for up to six years accused of organizing an armed
movement and attempting to take an opposition leader from
exile to the demonstrations in Tbilisi in May.
In November, the Russian Federation succeeded in getting
Georgia to join Russian membership in the World Trade
Organization. Georgia's veto was the last obstacle to the
Russian Federation, which has held membership negotiations
In the November presidential election in the South
Ossetian Republic, the opposition candidate Alla Dzhiojeva
won, but Moscow-backed candidate Anatoly Bibilov annulled
the election results by court. Re-election was scheduled for