Opposition unite to appeal to the UN
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Monday, January 4
The Parliamentary and non-Parliamentary opposition parties in Georgia made a joint appeal on December 30 that all elections in Georgia be held under UN aegis. This will be sent to UN headquarters in New York this week, says the Press Centre of the Labour Party, which initiated this appeal.
The document contains a survey of events in Georgia since 1990 and a detailed description of the political environment in the country at present and the appeal for UN supervision of elections to the UN Secretary General. All kinds of elections, not only local elections, should be held under UN aegis or they will be undemocratic and falsified, and may cause destabilisation in the country, Nestan Kirtadze of the Labour Party has told The Messenger.
"The document mentions that a dangerous tradition has developed in Georgia of changing the Government by means of revolution. It also says that the Rose Revolution, held in the name of democracy and freedom, has given the world one more authoritarian regime. It also gives an objective description of the present political situation in the country, where there are no free media outlets, television stations, courts or police and it appeals to the UN to organise all Georgian elections based on all this,” Kirtadze stated, adding that their demand is not simply that the UN counts the votes but that it takes charge of each aspect of the electoral process, from administrative to juridical.
MP Giorgi Targamadze, leader of the Christian Democratic Movement and the Parliamentary minority, said that the appeal would help generate more international attention for the planned local elections. The opposition agreeing to create and send this kind of appeal has been called a great achievement by Irakli Alasania, leader of Alliance for Georgia. “The political forces agreeing that the current electoral environment is unfair, undemocratic and that the international community should intervene and assist us in improving it is absolutely correct,” Alasania has said.
The appeal is also regarded as a positive step by analyst Soso Tsiskarishvili, who told The Messenger, "This appeal has two distinguishing factors, one being that it will attract the attention of such an important and influential organisation and the second that the opposition has managed to agree it and unite around this issue, which is also very important. It has been difficult to imagine that such an agreement could be achieved by these diverse opposition forces. The Government should pay adequate attention to it and respond positively. If it does not, this could cause another confrontation between Government and Opposition and unjust elections will again occur in this country,” Tsiskarishvili said. He added that he is not optimistic that the UN will agree to run the Georgian elections, but the step of agreeing and making this appeal is important.
The parties which have signed the appeal are the New Rights, Our Georgia – Free Democrats and Republican Party (the three parties which make up the Alliance for Georgia); the Democratic Movement–United Georgia (led by Nino Burjanadze); the Movement for United Georgia (ex-Defence Minister Irakli Okruashivli’s party); the Movement for Fair Georgia (led by ex-PM Zurab Noghaideli); the Industrialists; the Freedom Party; the Way of Georgia (led by Salome Zourabichvili); the National Forum; the Conservative Party; the Labour Party; People's Party; the Christian Democratic Movement (the leading Parliamentary opposition party); the Georgian Troupe; We Ourselves; the Traditionalists; the Women’s Party; the Green Party; the Social Democratic Movement for the Development of Georgia and the White Movement. The public movement Defend Georgia, led by Levan Gachechiladze, has also signed it.