Op-ed: who lives well in Abkhazia?
“Who lives well in Abkhazia?” – this is the question asked by the JAMnews correspondent from Sukhumi amid the incident that caused the political crisis in Abkhazia. An MP who fired into the air to celebrate the holiday, together with the veterans of the Georgian-Abkhaz war, was beaten by the security forces with the participation of the head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. This was followed by protests and the removal of the minister.
For me, the incident on the Sukhum embankment on Victory Day exposed one of the eternal questions of our reality: why is he allowed to do it, but I am not?
When in parliament the deputies accepted the report of the prosecutor general on the incident, then in response to the statement of their colleague being charged with hooliganism for shooting in a public place on a holiday, one of the parliamentarians then suggested that the security officials must attend all Abkhaz weddings from now on.
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Well, since it is prohibited, then everyone should be punished, – the people’s choice clearly stated, hinting that indeed every Abkhaz wedding is accompanied, according to tradition, by shooting into the air at the moment when the bride crosses the threshold of the groom’s house. And, it should be noted, indeed, the society is not widely aware of cases when someone was detained for such a violation of public order.
I myself, to be honest, do not consider the deputy’s misconduct to be something so out of the ordinary that it demands him be deprived of his deputy status or even the opportunity to run for the office in the future. But, nevertheless, I consider it a misdemeanor. It is important to understand that crimes and punishments must commensurate.
For years, people have been sitting in the Abkhaz parliament about the main, that is, the legislative activity of which we do not know anything at all. We also do not know their stance on the main, pressing issues on the agenda. I personally know the deputies who have never taken the floor at the sessions during the time of their convocation.
There is even an internal parliamentary story (I know about it from my sources inside the deputy corps) about one such silent person who once took the floor at one of the closed committee meetings, colleagues tensed, expecting that now they would understand with whom they work. However, the people’s chosen simply said: please close the window, it is cold.
It seems to me that such an attitude to parliamentary work is a much more sad violation of parliamentary ethics and responsibility to their electorate. I mean that for a year and a half as a deputy, the parliamentarian who shot in the air managed to at least be remembered for his position on a number of issues, including quite sharp and active ones. And yes, this does not in any way negate the committed actions.
In parallel with the political debate around the shooting on the shore and the endless dispute between those who are on the side of the deputy and the veterans with those who are on the side of the security forces, another event took place that fits perfectly into the question raised at the beginning.
All cultural institutions in Abkhazia have been closed since July 12. Officially, the authorities associate this with the epidemiological situation. People, unofficially, wonder how a busy tourist season with overcrowded sightseeing buses and facilities, many corporate events held, albeit prohibited weddings, did not prevent the fight against covid, and theaters, houses of culture, and the philharmonic society did.
At the same time, on October 8-9, on the stage of the State Russian Drama Theater, which was officially closed by the presidential decree, the festival “Khibla Gerzmava invites …” was held. This festival is traditional, in the homeland the opera diva is loved and always awaited. However, no official documents, on the basis of which this festival would be held (naturally, with a chess seating arrangement and observance of all measures), and the theater’s repertoire performances were presented – at least I have not seen them – and nobody else either.
The very history of the Khibla Gerzmava festival reminds me of many other stories of our country. And, if you please, I will not be silent. I’m talking about the following stories.
Having two cars are not allowed, but if a self-respecting crypto farm for at least 100 cars exists, then one can.
You cannot be drunk behind the wheel, but if you have the protection of some serious department, then you can.
You cannot steal money from the state, but the more you steal, the more you are allowed to steal.
Russian / Abkhazian / youth theater troupes, chapels, dancers, musicians cannot go on stage, but the People’s Artist of Abkhazia and Russia can.
And, by the way, I sincerely believe that those who are allowed to act as they please are in no way to blame. Only those who cannot decide between can and can not be guilty are only to blame. At the same time, they want everyone else to understand exactly and unconditionally how they should refer to themselves – to “trembling creatures” or “having the rights”.
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