GEO

Hate speech and polarization in the pre-election period

06 December, 2018

 

The election campaign before the 2018 presidential elections in Georgia was taking place against the background particular tension and confrontation. There were many cases when representatives and supporters of political parties made unethical and derogatory statements against one another and against the civil society sector and media representatives. They also disseminated defamatory or false information, including through social networks.

The present blog post presents the public statements which have been made since the start of the election campaign on August 29 and which demonstrate problems related to the culture of political discussion in the country.

 

09/09/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about migrants

‘The statistics clearly show that Iranians, Turks, and other foreigners have taken jobs away from Georgians. Instead of rich investors who were supposed to employ Georgians, we got poor migrants who hardly manage to find jobs for themselves. I really gave citizenship to citizens of the Republic of Turkey, and less so to citizens of Iran, but 99%% of them were ethnic Georgians.’    

Source: https://www.facebook.com/SaakashviliMikheil/videos/558835101219377/ 

 

12/09/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili

‘The earth should be scorching under the feet of this woman [Salome Zurabishvili], she is an ordinary traitor. The messages voiced by this woman are going to make it easier for Russia to capture Georgia’s territories.’ 

Source: http://pirveliradio.ge/index.php?newsid=112392

 

19/09/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili

‘After the restoration of independence, I signed the first agreement with the Patriarch on behalf of the State in the capacity of the Minister of Justice in 2001. Afterwards, I was also the one who worked on the text of the Concordat... Yesterday, traitor Zurabishvili attacked the Church, hinting at the revision of the Concordat. I believe that there are a lot of shortcomings in the relations between the State and the Church, but the blackmail by this treasonous woman is an immoral and anti-state act.’

Source: https://bit.ly/2Rodjtq

 

1/10/2018

Chairperson of the Parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, about the United National Movement

‘We should talk about the nine years for a long time to come because this was not simply a period of nine years – there were nine years of rape, torture, and numerous other misfortunes. In Germany, they still take children to see the traces of the Holocaust, because German children must know this so that the same thing will not happen again... You were not strong enough; if you were, you’d organize a worse thing than the Holocaust for the Georgian people. You were not strong enough, you couldn’t hack it.’       

Source: https://tinyurl.com/y7r7d92q 

 

1/10/2018

Remark of Teona Gegelia, journalist of Imedi TV, in connection with the anniversary of UNM’s defeat in the 2012 parliamentary elections 

‘My friends, congratulations on the day of the defeat of local fascism.’

Source: https://bit.ly/2ApLtG9

 

1/10/2018

Address of the Georgian Dream to the public on the sixth anniversary of the Georgian Dream’s victory

‘The candidate supported by the Georgian Dream, Mrs. Salome Zurabishvili, is being accused of treason by the political force [the UNM] which ushered the Russian troops – which had been withdrawn from Georgia thanks to the efforts of Salome Zurabishvili –  back into Georgia. With their adventurous or treasonous acts, this political force enabled Russia to fulfill its long-time desire and to fully occupy Abkhazia and Tskhinvali. These are the people who left peaceful population at the mercy of the enemy.’ 

Source: https://bit.ly/2Reiv36

 

02/10/2018

Chairperson of the Parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, about the UNM 

‘It’s an absolutely marginal, weak, and inept political force. They can be described by the same term that they used in relation to us. They are an absolutely marginal force; you see how they are conducting the campaign. As elections approach, money starts to flow into Georgia; they spend this money, hoping to change something for their benefit. Before the elections, they start to become active. It’s our objective to strike them in the head as soon as they become active. We do it together with the public; it’s the population that makes this decision.’ 

Source: https://bit.ly/2Tcckhh

 

02/10/2018

Chairperson of the Parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, against the civil society sector

‘Thirteen men and women with biased political views... There is a political association of citizens ‘Non-Governmental Sector’, which is sometimes called the civil society sector. This has nothing to do with civil society... This NGO makes statements in the affirmative form, arguing that there is a problem of corruption and informal governance in the country. This is shamelessness, or, at best, incompetence.’ 

Source: https://www.myvideo.ge/v/3682844

 

2/10/2018

Giorgi Iakobashvili, member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Broadcaster, about Zaal Udumashvili, a leader of the UNM

‘... Machutadze (representative of the opposition party) himself is stuck between Udumashvili’s thighs.’

Source: https://bit.ly/2E2goMM 

 

03/10/2018

Minister of Justice, Thea Tsulukiani, against the civil society sector

‘For years and months now, these organizations have been doing their best to discredit themselves by their superficial assessments and statements and violations of all standards – both legal and ethical. Accordingly, their words basically no longer mean anything. This is a great tragedy and problem for this concrete part of our civil society sector.’  

Source: http://rustavi2.ge/ka/news/115176

 

03/10/2018

Turkophobic statements of Salome Zurabishvili, the presidential candidate supported by the Georgian Dream

‘Up to now, only the President was authorized to grant citizenship. One of the presidents, whom my opponent represents, granted citizenship to a lot of Turks, but he didn’t grant it to you (ethnic Armenians living in Georgia).’ 

Source: http://netgazeti.ge/news/308517/ 

 

05/10/2018

Director-General of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia, about Zurabishvili’s donors

‘We should harass all those who finance Salome Zurabishvili or help her in the campaign in some other manner, all those politicians who accompany and support her. This is not an issue of freedom of expression or political taste. This means supporting an openly declared traitor of the country, supporting her in betraying the country.

We should remember all these people, we should remember that they stand by a traitor, and our country can expect anything from them. We should remember them and expel them from all areas of public life, whether it is business, culture, or politics. The traitor and her allies must be punished in a demonstrative manner! I’m going to devote myself to this cause for several years to come. First, I’m going to help the traitor Salome Zurabishvili lose the elections (she’ll definitely lose), and then I will turn to those who helped her.’

Source: https://www.facebook.com/nika.gvaramia.129/posts/1095557487279243,

 

08/10/2018

Chairperson of the Parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, against the civil society sector and against Mikheil Benidze, Executive Director of the ISFED 

‘This is a statement of a failing and inept fascist who has lost bitterly many times in the struggle against Georgian democracy, the Georgian society, and the truth in the past six years... For several days, the public was waiting for a clear position of NGOs regarding the fascist statement of Nika Gvaramia, although we haven’t heard such a response from the heads of any NGOs. Moreover, one of them, in particular, Mikheil Benidze, even went so low as to defend Nika Gvaramia, which causes utmost concern. We would like to emphasize that those who defend fascists are themselves participants in fascism.’

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kpY-l3dFmM

 

11/10/2018

Xenophobic statement of Giorgi Iakobashvili, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Public Broadcaster

‘We should drive out those Chinese people from here, followed by Gvaramia (General Director of Rustavi2 ), Bakradze, Vashadze (representatives of the opposition party), and Katsarava.’ 

Source: https://www.facebook.com/giorgi.iakobashvili.92/posts/10204831717469512

 

12/10/2018

Chairperson of the Parliament, Irakli Kobakhidze, about the UNM

‘It’s unacceptable when, I will say it directly, when a criminal and filthy political force, the UNM, talks about high values – this is a criminal political force, a filthy political force which has committed a number of extremely grave crimes against our country and our people.’

Source: http://www.parliament.ge/en/parlamentarebi/chairman/chairmannews/irakli-kobaxidze-nacionaluri-modzraoba-aris-kriminaluri-bindzuri-politikuri-dzala-romelsac-ar-aqvs-politikuri-momavali-saqartveloshi.page

 

15/10/2018

Revaz Arveladze, a member of the Georgian Dream, about the UNM

‘I’ve been saying this since 2013. The reason why I like Niccolo Machiavelli is not that he was a radical and said that when you come to power by conquering your enemy, you should not leave even the enemy’s grandchildren alive, to say nothing of his children, so that no one will think about revenge. I’m not saying we should have destroyed someone physically; rather, I am talking about the following: the people who prevent the Georgian Dream from ruling the country should not have been allowed to remain in any key office. Unfortunately, the Georgian Dream was unable to do so.’

Source: https://goo.gl/t6awiv

 

17/10/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about Bidzina Ivanishvili

‘Ivanishvili is now in par terre position. This man is really sick, a sick man in par terre. I think we all know what the Georgian people should do. Our victory is very near; we are going to succeed in everything.’ 

Source: http://tbl.ge/36tn

 

20/10/2018

Deputy Chairperson of the Georgian Dream faction at the Tbilisi City Council, Vato Shakarashvili 

‘The threats made by Nika Gvaramia, this poop of a mouse, cannot frighten anyone in the world; he can’t make us sad either by leaving the country or by staying here. But the insults to Salome Zurabishvili and her supporters by this ‘social pimple’ go beyond all limits! We know well that there are no real human rights organizations in this country; they not only stay silent about violence but also directly justify it. For this reason, I think that we should defend these people, the people we care for and people who are patriots of this country!’  

Source: https://www.facebook.com/vato.shackarishvili/posts/1875253405857164 

 

23/10/2018

The Minister of Justice, Thea Tsulukiani, against Eka Gigauri, Executive Director of TI Georgia

‘I will refrain to go deeper in that discussion here, why because very recently, just to let you know there was a very big societal scandal in Georgia around the TI Georgia head, who is a former high official of the Ministry of Interior under the former ruling party and groups of different... groups of our society with documents in hand showed that she could have allegedly contributed to the 7 November 2007 dispersal of peaceful manifestants.  Right now the label litigation is pending  before the Georgian courts, where she is an applicant until today refusing to compare before the courts in order to answer .’ 

Source: http://netgazeti.ge/news/313360/

 

23/10/2018

Director-General of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia, against presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili

‘Traitor Zurabishvili for president of Socar-tvelo![1] Take her, our Azerbaijani neighbors! Take her away and let her be your president!’

Source: https://bit.ly/2zrvibx

 

5/10/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili

‘She [Salome Zurabishvili] is not a Madam, she is a filthy, treasonous woman. I can’t describe her otherwise; it’s difficult to call her a Madam.’

Source: https://bit.ly/2PX2hid 

 

26/10/2018

Chairperson of the Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, against Eke Gigauri Executive Director of TI Georgia

‘I inticated to Eka Gigauri several times that it would be good if she left the non-governmental sector, as she does a disservice to the civil society sector by being there. I have replied to her many times and also uncovered her lies many times, but I will be more radical today, because she is trying not only to damage the country internally by her speeches but also started doing what is absolutely unacceptable. She says that Ivanishvili no longer appoints the US ambassador.’ 

Source:  https://bit.ly/2BB89Fe

 

26/10/2018

Chairperson of the Georgian Dream, Bidzina Ivanishvili, about Zaza Saralidze (father of one of the teenagers murdered in Tbilisi in December 2017)

‘I once again offer my condolences to Mr. Zaza; I express my sympathy, but this is not acceptable. We all know that he was a coordinator of the UNM. How can you transfer your son’s tragedy here?  What did he set up that tent for? Why has the UNM postponed the three-day rally? The police officers have acted very well.’

Source:  https://bit.ly/2THdim6

 

30/10/2018

Chairperson of the Defense and Security Committee, Irakli Sesiashvili, about the second round of the presidential elections

‘We should explain the real situation to the public. The UNM, together with Saakashvili, Vashadze and the united opposition, declare that they are going to win... In this situation, if the process comes to a head, I am going to be the first soldier who will defend the country from traitors, torturers, and misanthropes even if I don’t hold any public office. We are heading in this direction naturally.’

Source: https://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/a/29573100.html

 

30/10/2018

Statement of a member of the parliamentary majority, Dimitri Samkharadze, which contains a threat to members of the UNM

‘Don’t play with the fire. We, the real ones, are doing our best to remain patient. One more such act and we won’t spare you anymore... We will break your teeth, of course, in full compliance with the law. I don’t care about partisanship or being an MP. I’m the son of my country, an ordinary soldier. I will give my life, but I won’t let you destabilize the country. We will break you. I repeat again, control your behavior and act within the limits of law or else we will drive you out to join your stepfather Misha.’   

Source:  https://bit.ly/2R9Nn4R

 

30/10/2018

Member of the Parliament Gedevan Popkhadze about a ‘civil war’ 

‘If Grigol Vashadze (presidential candidate) wins the presidential elections, this will be a real step towards starting a civil war. I’m sure of that. What makes me say this is that the UNM has a revanchist attitude; their goal is to bring Mikheil Saakashvili to Georgia and to free Merabishvili and Akhalaia (former ministers of Interior Affairs and prime minister) from prison. All this will be directed at the liquidation of political opponents who create a problem for Saakashvili and for his political reanimation. Not a single Georgian will wait at home to be physically liquidated. We will all unite in the face of this danger and forget the resentments that we might have had towards one another in the past six years.’ 

Source: https://1tv.ge/news/gedevan-fofkhadze-grigol-vashadze-tu-archevnebs-moigebs-es-samoqalaqo-omis-dawyebis-realuri-nabiji-iqneba/

 

31/10/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about Tamar Chugoshvili, Deputy Chairperson of the Parliament

‘Excuse me, girl, come to your senses a little bit.’

Source: http://netgazeti.ge/news/315948/

 

04/11/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about tourists

‘We need rich tourists, rich tourists from all regions. When these pauperized, sorry to say but ugly people, enter the country, bringing their own sausages and tinned food with them, this won’t help us become rich. We need tourists from the UAE – not those from Bangladesh but those who live there. I’m not against the Bangladeshi, but those who go there are workers. Hindus – well, they don’t have enough income... We need sheiks, for example, who will come and leave as much money here as 200 other people. As a rule, they also conduct themselves more quietly and take care of their reputation.’

Source:  http://netgazeti.ge/news/316905/ 

 

05/11/2018

Head of the Public Relations Service of the Georgian Railway, Dachi Tsaguria, against the UNM

‘We will break you! This is evil with which you can’t coexist! They have to destroy you or be destroyed themselves. They are like parasites! We’ll see who will destroy whom, maniacs!’

Source:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1p-hvqXRT1b3NAqnMg2r5CDRL0lAkiaTG/view?usp=sharing

 

12/11/2018 

Member of the Patriots’ Alliance of Georgia and Deputy Chairperson of the Parliament, Irma Inashvili, about the UNM

‘I want to tell you very simply – don’t put on airs, no one is afraid of you in this country. We will stick the posters you’re posting here and there on your foreheads, and that’ll be it. We’ll chase each of you, we’ll come to your doors and no one will ever stop me. It was you who left Akhalgori and Kodori (part of occupied territories by Russian Federation in South Ossetia and Abkhazia) to the enemy...

For this reason, I am telling you that no one is afraid of your titushkas (mercenary agents) or of your Gvaramia who is swearing from there. I’ll break each of you and your families.’

Source: http://tbl.ge/393z

 

12/11/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili against presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili

‘I don’t think soldiers are threatening the traitor and her family. Probably, this is a big lie, like many other things.’  

Source:  https://bit.ly/2ztHfNT

 

15/11/2018

Minister of Justice, Thea Tsulukiani, about the UNM

‘Nowadays you can often hear that they won’t elect a president who is a traitor. I agree with the UNM, we won’t elect a president who is a traitor, but for us this treasonous president and force is the Soviet diplomat, Mr. Vashadze, and the decision made in 2011 in The Hague, by which they lost the dispute.’

Source:  https://bit.ly/2P4Z8I6                             

 

18/11/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about the Georgian Dream’s PR specialists from Israel

‘There was one burning log missing in Hell, and Ivanishvili has now brought him to Georgia to make us completely happy, to make money at the expense of our citizens’ misfortune... Ivanishvili is counting on this swindler from Israel, this “specialist of black PR” called Moshe.’

Source:  https://bit.ly/2BieR2R

 

19/11/2018

Former President Mikheil Saakashvili about the Georgian Dream’s PR specialist from Israel 

‘This time, this swindler from Israel called Moshe has arrived to help the Russian-Georgian swindler, Bidzina. So they all have different citizenship but are engaged in similar activities.’

Source:  https://bit.ly/2qV04oy

 

20/11/2018

Mayor of Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze, about the civil society sector

‘Have they come alive? Have they emerged from cellars?’

‘I’m very glad that the problem that has confronted more than 600,000 people will be eliminated. It’s very difficult to link this to elections. What would they have said if the elections had been over in the first round and this decision had been announced afterwards? It is not connected with elections in any way, though if there are some questions, the relevant agencies will perhaps take an interest in this issue.’  

Source:  https://bit.ly/2BxIKfm

 

21/11/2018

Director-General of Rustavi 2, Nika Gvaramia, against presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili

‘She [Salome Zurabishvili] was the wife of her children’s godfather; to say it more correctly, she had a relationship with her children’s godfather when she had a husband. This is not anyone’s business and may be a matter of morals, but this would have spelled the end for a presidential candidate in any democratic state.’

Source:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2-Kueef2X4

 

26/11/2018

Former Prime-Minister, Irakli Gharibashvili, against the UNM

“Today we should all stand together; we should put aside everything personal and finally say no to traitor Saakashvili and his anti-national political force.’

Source: https://www.radiotavisupleba.ge/a/29622165.html 

 

__________________

Socar is an Azerbaijani oil products company, while Sakartvelo is the Georgian name of the country of Georgia. word play Here Nika Gvaramia uses a [1]

 

 

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