TBILISI, DFWatch–The ruling Georgian Dream party has unilaterally signed an EU-mediated compromise agreement intended to overcome the political crisis in Georgia, which addresses one of the two main demands of the opposition.
“Today, the Georgian Dream publicly signs a document created under the auspices of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, presented by the President’s Special Representative, Christian Danielsson.
“In the final stage of negotiations we expressed our readiness to sign the document […] but refrained until now because we expected similar steps to be taken by the opposition,” Speaker of Parliament Archil Talakvadze said on Friday.
The document proposed by EU mediator Christian Danielsson calls for the release of Nika Melia, chairman of the largest opposition party, and Giorgi Rurua, founder of the main opposition TV channel, but does not include holding early elections, which is the second key demand by the opposition.
The move was well received in Brussels.
“Good to see Georgian Dream showing readiness to compromise. It is a right step in the right direction. For the sake of Georgia, opposition too needs to follow suit. Meanwhile, many details still remain that need to be worked out. EU remains ready to help with that,“ MEP Viola von Cramon wrote on Twitter.
The opposition still refuses to sign the agreement. They are especially dissatisfied with the fact that the “Danielsson document”, as it was dubbed by journalists, does not contain their main demand, early parliamentary elections. At the same time, they believe that the release of Melia and Rurua is vaguely written in the agreement and they are afraid that GD will not release the two.
“Until an agreement can be reached on the two main issues, a full agreement will not be reached. Release of political prisoners and early elections are the main issues, ”said Akaki Minashvili of the UNM.
“The one who does not fully understand or inaccurately assesses the depth of the crisis may temporarily assume this initiative [by GD] as a positive signal, but it will soon become clear that this is not a relief to the crisis,” Giga Bokeria, the chairman of European Georgia, told Palitranews.
The last meeting between the opposition and the Georgian Dream, mediated by the Personal Representative of the President of the European Council, Christian Danielsson, ended without result on March 30.
After the meeting, the draft agreement proposed by Christian Danielsson for the parties was announced, which consists of five clauses: reforming the judiciary, electoral reform, power-sharing in the parliament, ambitious electoral reform; rule of law/judicial reform; distribution of power in parliament; handling the issue of people perceived as political prisoners by opposition and upcoming elections.