Tag: georgia

Georgia: Mass Marijuana-Planting Party Planned for New Year’s

A Georgian political party plans to ring in the New Year by planting weed as an act of civil disobedience against the Caucasus country’s stringent anti-drug policies.

Members of the party, which, incidentally, has the botanical name of Pine Cone (Girchi/გირჩი), are inviting likeminded individuals to join them in a pot-planting fest a minute before midnight on December 31. Anyone of age is welcome to come along, Pine Cone said in a press release.

The procedure, staged at the party’s main Tbilisi office, will be broadcast live in a bid to push the Georgian government toward the full decriminalization of marijuana use. The name of the broadcaster was not given.

Explaining the Crisis in Abkhazia

A political crisis in the separatist entity of Abkhazia, which included coup rumors and Russia’s temporary detention of an opposition leader, has eased for now. But the sources of instability have not been fully addressed.

After large protests and counter-protests on December 15 in the capital, Sukhumi, the de facto president, Raul Khajimba, offered concessions to the opposition. But while this appears to have dampened tensions for now, Abkhazia seems likely to be gripped by uncertainty for months ahead.

So what set off this crisis? On November 30, the opposition party Amtsakhara announced that if Khajimba did not resign by December 15, it would convene a people’s assembly. The implicit threat was that this people’s assembly might seek Khajimba’s ouster. The government took the threat seriously, organizing a counter-protest, as well as a range of statements by political and civil society actors (including even former South Ossetian President Eduard Kokoity) that uniformly appealed for unity. In addition, the State Security Service presented recordings it claimed featured certain opposition members discussing plans to forcefully overthrow Khajimba.