Archive for June 28th, 2011

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Black lists, civil rights, communists, KBG and the law‏

June 28, 2011

To continue on from yesterday’s post about “loyalty” and how difficult it can be when the foundations of your life change due to immigration and expatriation, here is an interesting article about the new laws that have just come into force in Georgia.

Georgia has just passed a law that effectively bans former KGB, communist party and Komsomol officials from public office under the new Freedom Charter that came into effect from 31st May 2011. All ex-members of such establishments now have 6 months to register with the Ministry of Interior.

As you will see from the link, the law is exceptionally ambiguous and has drawn the attention not only of the opposition in Georgia, but also organisations like Transparency International, the Georgian Lawyers Association and undoubtedly has been raised by numerous Ambassadors from the EU and USA as well. Civil rights groups will be less than pleased.

Nobody in the above link has mentioned the effect it can and will have on the existing infrastructure and specifically the most senior civil servants within it.

The usual civil service career lasts around 30 years in most nations. Only 20 years ago Georgia was part of the USSR just like Ukraine. There will now be a lot of very experienced and very smart people, who upon the collapse of the USSR chose their native Georgia over remaining in the Russian civil service, and who did so to meet the challenges of setting up a civil service, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior, Secret Services etc etc for an independent Georgia.

All will have undoubtedly have been members of the Communist Party to hold those positions within the USSR of which Georgia was a part, to the employ that experience gained to construct the necessary independent Georgian institutions when Georgia became independent. Quite simply if they were not party members they would never had been put in the positions they were given.

This new law would seem to now ban them from continuing in their posts, despite having chosen Georgia and the stresses and trials of setting up some very complex Ministries from scratch in some very turbulent times. They could very well have stayed in the Russian civil service and denied their native Georgia their expertise when the nation was rising from the break-up of the USSR.

Not the best way to deal with the loyalty such people showed to Georgia back in the early 1990’s me-thinks. Seems much more like McCarthyism at its ignorant worst. One hopes Ukraine has much more sense than to follow this path!

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