January 16

Constitutional monarchy to save Georgia?

RT is a Russian public broadcaster. The RT website states that it is Russia’s most popular English language internet news service, apparently substantially more than the only other service I have used, Interfax.com.

The summary of its  Wednesday 14 January Press Review, says “ This Wednesday Russian newspapers reveal some secrets of the ‘gas war’, suggest a hidden agenda behind the Gaza Strip conflict, analyze options in India-Pakistan relations and explain how a constitutional monarchy can save Georgia’s sovereignty. “

Four summaries of press stories follow, including this one:

VREMYA NOVOSTEI writes that while Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili is talking of partly sharing his immense power with the parliament, the Patriarch Ilia II of Georgia is promoting the re-installment of the thousand-years-old Georgian monarchy.

The Bagrationi dynasty that ruled Georgia from 1008 till 1801 and then was accepted into the highest nobility of the Russian Empire as ‘the family descending from the Tsars of Georgia’ has never left the European social scene.

 “The last Georgian monarch Georgy Bagrationi, writes the paper, was a famous sportsman and a close friend of the Spanish king.

He died in Tbilisi in January 2008. Now his son Prince David of the ‘foreign’ Bagrationis is scheduled to marry Anna Mukhraneli of the ‘Georgian’ Bagrationis.

The Patriarch himself will preside at the Church service on February 8.

 “This union, says the paper, cancels out all the old disagreements between the two branches of the Georgian royal family and may produce a child who would be accepted by everyone in Georgia as the nation’s rightful monarch.

Patriarch Ilia II is quoted by the paper as saying that the new monarch will have to be ‘raised to rule’ – but not to govern, as his position of a constitutional monarch would be above politics and direct governance.  

 

“However," says the paper, history teaches us that even in a constitutional monarchy the king or tsar has a certain degree of influence and power.”

Evgeny Belenkiy, RT”

 

There appears to be a view in Georgia that republican government has not worked well and that a Westminster style constitutional monarchy would allow for a more democratic control of the state, and that The King would provide leadership beyond politics.

 


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