TBILISI and RUSTAVI — The strength of Georgia's democracy and of its all-powerful ruling party will be put to the test over the next two weeks after a deadlocked presidential election on Sunday necessitated what is sure to be a bitter runoff.
Why it matters: In Georgia, it goes almost without saying that Moscow is the enemy, the West provides the path forward and strengthening democracy is the way to get there. But leading figures in the former Soviet republic's politics and society are fearful that this consensus is beginning to break down. In four days here I heard the phrase "existential crisis" more than once. As always, one chief fear is Russia. Another is that the fragile system will begin to implode through some combination of corruption, hopelessness and political score-settling.