Thursday, April 9, 2009

A tale of two protests

It is "compare and contrast" time again here at CompHyp.

Two countries attempting to come to terms with their condition on the edge of Russian influence (and intervention) have been faced with popular protests against the elected governments' hold on power.

Moldova has had an ugly round of demonstrations where the intendedly peaceful protest against what was very likely a rigged election turned into riots against the government. Things got so bad that the Parliament and the Presidential Residence were stormed by rioters. The matter has turned into an international incident as well, with allegations of Romanian manipulations of the protests being called an attempted coup d'etat. Diplomatic relations have now ruptured as Moldova has sent the Romanian Ambassador packing.

and then...

The Republic of Georgia has seen a massive, but smaller than expected, Rally by the political opposition against the Saakashvili administration. These protests are passionate, but lack the violence (and government crackdown) of the Moldovan situation, at least for now. The protesters claim they will stay in the streets until President M. Saakashvili resigns. The test will come if the protests grow, or turn violent.

Both situations bear watching, and both could bode ill in a number of ways for future of the nations in question.

...and never forget who stands to benefit most from instability in both regions.

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