People power – A Philippine export

HAVE you also been losing sleep watching the real-life drama on CNN featuring events in Tbilisi, Georgia? Well, now that President Eduard Shevardnadze has resigned, they’re going to have new elections over there. The world hopes that this time, the elections will be free of fraud.

The resignation was preceded by charges of massive corruption against the President and his family, and also by charges that the recent elections in Georgia were “stolen.” Literally tens of thousands of people then stormed Parliament (without the use of force, mind you. They just marched in) and spilled out in the streets, waving banners and shouting slogans. After days of protests, they were threatened with the army but, according to the most popular leader of the opposition, Mikhail Saakshvili, the army switched sides. Then the Russian Prime Minister came and talked to Shevardnadze, and shorty after, the President resigned.

There is now euphoria in the streets of Georgia and those interviewed on TV stated that they are now hopeful and optimistic about their future. Well, good for them. Because before this, people lived there in poverty, most of them earning about the equivalent of a dollar a day. I hope they make it

The scenes of the non-violent people power on TV reminded me so much of our own people power days. What a pity we blew it after that. But I’m sure the whole world watched us then and sat in awe of us. And, what’s more, they learned lessons from us. That was our one shining glorious moment in history. As I said, what a pity we blew it.

26/11/2003

Bron : Manila Bulletin Online

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