Elections, News

Who is to blame for election violence in Georgia?

by | Aug 6, 2012

TBILISI, DFWatch – In Georgia, the government’s main competitor, Georgian Dream, claims that they support fair and free elections and accuses the government of attempting to provoke civil confrontation.

Georgian Dream released this statement on Monday as a response to the government’s criticism. The ruling party blames Georgian Dream of not wanting to join a recent non-violence declaration, and the government argues that this means that Georgian Dream plans to create unrest before the elections.

The idea to create a non-violence declaration before the elections came from non-governmental organizations, but before they prepared the text, the government published its own text for such a declaration.

One of the points in the declaration is that the parties agree to recognize the results announced by the Central Election Commission without any conditions, which causes concern among the opposition Georgian Dream bloc. That is why it has so far refused to join the declaration.

Georgian Dream considers that in case of necessity, parties have the right to appeal the results announced by CEC, but this point of the declaration doesn’t give them this right, which Georgian Dream considers a violation of the rights guaranteed by the constitution.

Georgian Dream now expresses readiness to join the text presented by NGOs, which focuses on avoiding violence and destructive actions and that government bodies should act within the frames of law.

Later, the government agreed to add paragraphs suggested by NGOs.

“We consider that the latest alternative initiatives by the ruling party, including to review the above mentioned document, as an addition to another document, doesn’t support [the goal of] achieving the declared goal. We are ready to review the issue to add paragraphs proposed by NGOs in this document, including to solve every disputed issue regarding results of the elections through peaceful and constructive ways and also obligatory of non usage of hate speech towards minorities,” Georgian Dream writes in a statement.

But the government still accuses Georgian Dream of planning to create tension before the elections.

Georgian Dream once again released a statement on Monday, which says that the Georgian Dream coalition once again confirms its loyalty towards the main principles of fair and free elections.

“The coalition without conditions joined the 17-point document proposed by civil society on July 16 and took obligations to defend those principles and rules of conduct presented therein.”

Georgian Dream also expressed concern about the ruling party’s permanent violation of these rules. Specifically, they pointed to recent events in the Adjara region. Georgian Dream views the incident as the government’s attempt to encourage civic confrontation and to engage youth in this crime.

“We appeal to Georgian and international observing organizations to fully study these incidents and objectively assess what happened. We are ready to cooperate with any interested organization and to provide complete information regarding the events.”



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