The Rose Revolution and the Egyptian Arab Spring

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  • Topic: Georgia, Egypt, Mikheil Saakashvili
  • Pages : 7 (2997 words )
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  • Published : April 7, 2013
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The Rose Revolution and The Egyptian Arab Spring

The Rose Revolution and The Egyptian Arab Spring
This paper will discuss the similarities and differences of the civil movements and revolutions of the Former Soviet Union (FSU) country of Georgia and the Middle Eastern country of Egypt. Both revolutions occurred during a time of socioeconomic turbulence followed by elections that were disputed by the citizens because of fraud. Both the regimes of Georgia and Egypt were plagued by corruption and the elitism of politicians who had been in power for a lengthy amount of time. In Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze had placed all of his family into high-ranking positions within the country and within the government. This enraged the citizens of Georgia who were facing economic hardships. Shevardnadze’s leadership was also plagued by corruption and unfair elections. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak’s administration was fraught with corruption as well. It has been speculated that the Mubarak family was stealing money from the government for their own use. Mubarak was also accused for the unfair treatment of the citizens by his police forces. Citizens were jailed without trials and the common citizen’s privacy was violated by the police state. Economic hardships, the rising cost of goods, the lack of employment opportunities, and the failing of their education system overcame Georgia and Egypt. The people were ready to contest the leadership who for so long had allowed these atrocities to transform into uncontrollable issues. Eduard Shevardnadze began his political career in 1946 and it would last until 2003 when he resigned from the presidency after the success of the Rose Revolution. In 1961 he became the First Secretary of a city district in Tbilisi. It was during this time he began his anti-corruption campaign against the current First Secretary of Tbilisi. This campaign would garner the attention of Mikhail Gorbachev and the Soviet Union. He started many economic reforms that helped boost the economy within his district which was uncommon at that time because the Soviet Union was suffering from a stagnate economy. He would eventually resign as the First Secretary of Tbilisi and would be appointed by Gorbachev to Minister of Foreign Affairs. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Shevardnadze returned to a newly independent Georgia and would eventually became the Head of State. In 1995 when the position of president was restored in Georgia, he was elected to the position by 70% of the population because of his past successes of anti-corruption campaigns and economic reforms ("Eduard Shevardnadze," 2011, p. 1). The Georgian people were optimistic about their future with Shevardnadze at the helm of their ship. Shevardnadze had projected himself as democrat but according to journalist Lincoln Mitchell, Shevardnadze was a brilliant politician but never a real democrat. As Georgia’s president, he projected himself as a leader who, because of his background, was uniquely positioned to bring about democracy and political modernity to Georgia (Mitchell, n.d., p. 342). Shevardnadze’s regime was characterized by freedoms such as free media and freedom within the other political parties. These freedoms would later be viewed as the reasons for Shevardnadze’s fall. He was the poster child for what was widely viewed as democratic success in a FSU country. Shevardnadze began to rig the elections to ensure his continued success. The opposition political parties were allowed little successes in smaller elections but Shevardnadze made sure the political elite remained in power. Georgia turned into a blackmail state. Public servants began to accept bribes and payments for illegal behavior because corruption had shrank the tax base. These economic shortfalls prevented salaries and pensions to be paid. By the time of the parliamentary election of 2003 that led to the Rose Revolution, Shevardnadze was not seen as the democrat that the people had...
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