A book titled “Who Owned Georgia” was first published in 2012. It was devoted to the key players of the several important sectors of the Georgian economy and to their links with the ruling party. The main theme of the book was the overlapping of politics and business – along with the threats that this overlapping posed both to integrity in public administration and to free and fair competition in the private sector.
Seven years on from the publication of the original book, not only do those threats persist but they have also acquired an entirely new dimension due to an unprecedented consolidation of political and economic power in the country. Clearly, the situation where the country’s richest man is also the ruling party’s leader and the country’s de facto ruler is a new kind of challenge for the democratic political system and its key institutions. What are the consequences of this consolidation of power for the judiciary, the law enforcement system or the media? What is its impact on elections? How does it affect the daily affairs of citizens and change the places where they live?
You will find the answers to most of these questions in the publication. The texts told in the format of novel are based on facts and refer to sources. Niko Nergadze, a journalist at Radio Liberty wrote the story.