Ghia Nodia, RFE/RL
With less than two weeks to go before the municipal elections on May 30, religious extremism has become the main topic of discussion in Georgia.
There is a certain logic to this. No one bothers to ask who will win the elections, as it is clear that President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement has no serious challengers and its victory will reflect the true mood of society. The interesting question is whether there will any election-related disturbances, either serious or on a minor scale.
After all, some radical political figures (mostly from the camp that travels to Moscow with increasing regularity, and who have aligned in the so-called National Council) have pledged to "perpetrate a [new] Bishkek," meaning a repeat of the mass protests that culminated in the ouster last month of Kyrgyzstan's President Kurmanbek Bakiev.
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The Geopolitics Of Religious Extremism