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Political opponents to discuss Electoral change

By Salome Modebadze
Tuesday, November 2
On November 2 eight opposition parties - New Rights, National Forum, Georgian Way, Conservative Party, Republican Party, Christian Democratic Movement, Our Georgia - Free Democrats and People’s Party sign the address expressing their readiness to start consultations with the Government for improving the electoral system in the country. Presenting the special address to the Parliamentary Chairman Davit Bakradze, the opposition representatives requested that he elaborate concrete proposals on the format of talks on this matter as soon as possible and stressed the need for international organisations to participate in the process.

Realising that the “language of ultimatum” won’t produce results, opposition representatives suggested gathering around the discussion table to work on joint statements by sharing each other’s ideas. “We, the opposition have already worked out the most burning issues according to our experience but we are also ready to listen to the suggestions of our political opponents at consultations planned in the nearest future,” Irakli Alasania the leader of Our Georgia - Free Democrats told the media.

Parliament MPs will start consultations with the opposition parties just after Davit Bakradze returns from his business trip by the end of the week. Stressing the importance of consolidation on such an important issue, the ruling party agreed on a possible format of talks with their political opponents. “We wish to improve the electoral environment just like the parties standing beyond the ultimatum and want to have fair and transparent elections in our country,” majoritarian MP Petre Tsiskarishvili told the media explaining that work on improving the electoral system should start from the very beginning.

All the Parliamentary opposition representatives apart from the Georgian Troupe chaired by Jondi Bagaturia agreed to participate in the discussions. Calling this process a “political game” Bagaturia doubted the chance of ousting the current President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili from his post through improving the electoral system. “I will soon issue the main postulates aimed at reforming the electoral environment in Georgia with my colleagues,” Bagaturia stressed without naming his possible partners.

Gia Kobakhidze from the Democratic Movement – United Georgia supposed that the Government of Georgia is trying to create an image of real democracy by cooperating with the political parties. “The Government won’t change the electoral system; they don’t think at all about leaving their posts but simply aim to deceive not only the opposition parties but also the public,” Kobakhidze said adding that only the Public Representative Assembly would manage to get rid of the current political regime in our country.

Political analyst Ramaz Sakvarelidze said that starting negotiations between the opposition and Government on improving the electoral system in Georgia would create a “paradox situation”. “The current electoral environment is wrong because the Government aiming to stay in power is benefitting from it,” the analyst said stressing that if the Government really wanted to change the system it would have already been changed. Doubting that the opposition’s initiative would be enough Sakvarelidze suggested that local and international societies get involved in solving this issue.