TBILISI, DFWatch – The government refuses to accept conditions which the largest opposition coalition says are necessary in order for the October 1 parliamentary election to be considered fair.
Bidzina Ivanishvili, leader of the Georgian Dream coalition on Thursday asked the government to respect six principles, as necessary conditions in order to declare the election as fair and the results valid. Those issues are: to abolish financial sanctions against him and his party, to investigate violations and to give media the opportunity to work freely.
The government responded by rejecting the list of principles on Friday, saying that it considers these demands groundless.
Chiora Taktakishvili, spokesperson for the ruling party, said the president and the National Movement party have already expressed their readiness to make the upcoming election the most free and fair in Georgia’s history.
She said the government has taken many steps to this end, including adopting the so-called code of conduct for political parties.
“It was prepared on the basis of recommendations by civil society, and Georgian Dream refuses to share the principles of this document.”
Georgian Dream refuses to sign the code of conduct, saying they think there are important issues which haven’t been included.
“The way Ivanishvili is presenting groundless demands makes us think that the goal of Georgian Dream is not to participate in free and fair elections, but to bring disorder after the election,” Taktakishvili said.
The National Movement calls on Georgian Dream to follow the regulations of the law, avoid using hate speech and violence, recognize the election results which will be approved by the Central Election Commission and unbiased international observers.
Ivanishvili said Thursday said that his coalition will defend people’s vote only by peaceful means and not call for confrontation.
But after the government’s statement, Ivanishvili told journalists that the international community and his political force have common views, which means that if the government doesn’t respect the principles they presented, the election will not be considered fair by the international community.