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Opposition want the UN to organise Georgia's elections

By Londa Mindiashvili
Tuesday, December 1
Leaders of non-Parliamentary and Parliamentary opposition parties gathered at the office of the Labour Party on 30 November to discuss that party's initiative of conducting Presidential and Parliamentary elections in Georgia under the aegis of the UN. The meeting was held behind closed doors.

The leaders of all parties represented at the meeting agreed that elections are sometimes held under the aegis of the UN in underdeveloped countries or ones which are at war, have no government and whose level of civic development is low. However they acknowledged that Georgia is one such country and it is therefore essential to hold all kinds of elections under UN supervision.

“All elections are organised by the UN during the transitional period between totalitarian dictatorship and democracy. Elections held during the rule of Saakashvili and his criminal gang need very strict supervision by the UN. This is as necessary in our country as it once was in Cambodia, Congo, Afghanistan or Croatia. Our country is in a worse situation than those countries nowadays,” stated Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of the Labour Party.

A final decision on the specific matter has not been made, but the opposition spectrum is unanimous that the involvement of international organisations in holding all types of elections in Georgia is necessary. Consultations between opposition parties will continue for about a month or a month and a half and the leaders of the opposition parties sign the formal request which is to be presented to the UN only after its text is agreed.

Leader of the Conservative Party Kakha Kukava considers that Georgia does not have a legitimate government and it is practically impossible to hold free elections under this Government. “Holding elections under the aegis of the UN will mean that Georgia is at a very low level in terms of civil rights. Elections in Georgia are always unfair and this has already become a tradition. So we think it would be better if representatives of the UN will not only observe elections but also participate in running them and take on certain responsibilities,” said Zviad Dzidziguri, the other Joint Leader of the Conservative Party.

“We have been holding consultations with Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary opposition parties and will continue to do so. It is obvious that international organisations must get involved in the electoral process in Georgia,” said Viktor Dolidze, a representatives of the Alliance for Georgia.

Dolidze was one of three Alliance representatives at the meeting, the others being Mamuka Katsitadze and Davit Berdzenishvili. As well as Kakha Kukava and Zviad Dzidziguri from the Conservatives, the leader of Industry Will Save Georgia Zurab Tkemaladze, one of the leaders of the National Forum Irakli Melashvili, leader of the Movement for United Georgia Eka Beselia, leader of the Women’s Party Guguli Maghradze and leader of the 'Whites' Temur Shashiashvili attended. From the Parliamentary opposition leader of the Christian Democrats Giorgi Targamadze, independent Deputy Gia Tsagareishvili, leader of Georgian Troupe Jondi Baghaturia and leader of the Freedom Party Konstantine Gamsakhurdia were there. No representatives of Levan Gachechiladze’s, Zurab Noghaideli’s or Nino Burjanadze’s parties attended. Democratic Movement – United Georgia member Roman Kusiani said that Nino Burjanadze was meeting regional supporters, and only leaders of parties had been invited to the Labour Party office. “We offered other representatives, but unfortunately the meeting format would not allow this,” added Kusiani.

Political analyst Gia Khukhashvili welcomed the initiative of the Labour Party and explained that the idea is very important because it is essential to improve the electoral situation in Georgia. “Elections should be organised by an unconditional authority, and it is possible to hold free elections here, but unfortunately this is not done because the Government is not interested in holding such elections,” told Khukhashvili to The Messenger.