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Twelve years have passed since the Rose Revolution

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, November 25
Twelve years have passed since Mikheil Saakashvili and his United National Movement party came to power through the Rose Revolution.

Mikheil Saakashvili, who despite being of the most popular ministers of then-President Eduard Shevardnadze, opposed the President, and after weeks of peaceful rallies managed to bloodlessly replace him.

Saakahsvili was strongly supported by the people, as they were tired of permanent poverty, having no electricity, heating or prospects, as well as the rampant corruption, the existence of the institute of so-called 'thieves-in-law', and many other everyday problems.

As soon as he came to to power, Saakashvili provided a steady supply of electricity and gas, and launched an aggressive campaign against organised crime and state corruption.

His ministers arrest many former government officials, and released them only after they had paid millions in fines.

Saakashvili managed to defeat criminal bosses, make positive improvements in the state infrastructure and introduced an entirely different police system, efficient and free of corruption.

The reforms raised Georgia to a new level of development, especially when Saakahsvili supported a European style of thinking and encouraged Georgia's integration with international bodies such as the EU and NATO.

Corruption was comprehensively defeated at low levels. However, gradually it has re-emerged at the highest levels of society, with high-ranking officials owning millions of dollars worth in properties, having monopolized businesses or demanded shares from business entities.

The police, who were initially focused on fighting criminals, were very privileged under the previous state leadership, and police officers began to take advantage of their position. There were few cases under the previous state leadership wherein a police officer was punished for committing a crime or abusing his position.

To ensure a long tenure in power, the UNM launched day and night eavesdropping campaign on its own people, recording their private lives and using them as a lever of blackmail.

The final straw for the public was the release of videos prior to the 2012 parliamentary elections depicting mass torture and sexual abuse of prisoners.

Of course, there were many positives introduced by the Saakashvili Government. However, his Government’s later actions that violated human rights negated many of his earlier achievements.

The fate of the UNM serves as a good example for the current Georgian Government so that they can fully understand that a successful government can be only be described as successful if it protects human rights and ensures worthy living conditions for its people.