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Christian Democrat leader voices election concerns at Council of Europe

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, April 14
Leader of Christian Democrats Giorgi Targamadze gave a speech at the plenary session of the Parliamentary assembly of CoE in Strasbourg, on April 13, during which the necessity of election improvement in the country, media transparency and some other issues, which are frequently voiced from oppositional representatives in Georgia, were raised.

“Georgia had to live in polarization in a confrontational atmosphere in the past. The main element of maturity of democracy is peaceful transformation of power by free and fair elections that will enable all political units, including the ruling party to become participants of a fair contest to form the future government. To conduct 2012 parliamentary and 2013 presidential elections by EU standards, it is vital to reach a consensus through dialogue between the ruling party and eight opposition parties, “Targamadze stated and mentioned that in the current reality, Georgian authorities refuse to carry out negotiations with the oppositional parties on election reform. He called on the parliamentary assembly to exert pressure on the government of Georgia to accomplish pre-election dialogue.

As Targamadze has mentioned, the current Georgian Government is the strongest this country has ever had, “however without democracy and pluralism strong authorities look like a sportsman who can move only one of his hands. Thus holding of court and some other essential reform has a vital importance.” He said that media owners and sources financing media must become transparent to create free and plural media environment. He has also pleaded for the liberalization of the criminal code to avoid imprisoning a person for stealing a 4ˆ pot.

Targamadze did not forget to mention the Russian threat, however, according to him, there is another serious threat from within the country, “Deployment of Russia’s heavy artillery so close to the capital of Georgia is dangerous; though the fact that Georgia’s political system resembles Russia's political one is not less dangerous. We, Christian Democrats believe that future depends on democratic and stable development not only for Georgians but for Russians as well”.

In conclusion, the leader of the Christian-Democrats stated that Georgia cannot afford to continue the course of young democracy. The country’s democracy has to reach maturity – the one with open and free change of the government, otherwise partially authoritarian state will be formed in permanent expectation of revolution. Targamadze addressed all the members of the parliamentary assembly of CoE to help Georgia in building a peaceful and democratic future.