New Rights Proud of Active Cooperation with Government
By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Thursday, November 17
The Georgia opposition party, the New Rights, seems to have the pretension to lead the recently created commission on voters’ lists in the Georgian parliament. At the same time, the party has made more sincere comments regarding Georgian billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili and his future political career.
The commission has been created on the initiative of the Georgian president and consists of the majority, opposition members and NGOs. There should be a total of 21 members in the commission and it is to be led by the opposition representative. As for the main duty of the commission, it should ensure the rechecking of voters’ lists until July 1 of 2012, including going door to door.
Of the leading opposition parties, only the New Rights and Christian–Democrats signed the memorandum with the ruling party regarding the drafting of a new election code. Due to this, the main demands of the greatest part of the Georgian opposition were not taken into consideration, and thus the upcoming elections will be held as the government want them without biometric IDs and an increased number of parliamentary seats up for grabs.
The Christian Democrats which already has its representatives in the commission, has not expressed any pretension to rule the new committee, however the New Rights were not so modest and they openly fixed their position concerning the issue. ”We are not going to run from the responsibility, we made steps regarding a series of changes and we have the pretension to be at the reins of the ruling process, we are not going to look at the situation from a distance,” representative of the New Rights, Mamuka Katsitadze, said. Thus, reports that Katsitadze will be the head of the commission are very plausible.
At the same time, after different kinds of controversial statement regarding Ivanishvili, Katsitadze mentioned that the New Rights has “totally irrelevant views“ on Ivanishvili. He continued that coming to power with an absolute majority is unacceptable for New Rights as an “absolute majority, absolutely depraves a person.” As Katsitadze mentioned, the ”New Rights are against idolizing anybody.” It should also be mentioned that Ivanishvili also apparently wants at least a three party parliament. The businessman has claimed that he would go into opposition against a new government created by him in order to avoid authoritarianism in the state.
The New Rights and Christian–Democrats' actions regarding the election reform has been taken as “treason“ by the other opposition parties. According to the latter, the ‘ treacherous two parties played the authorities' game and that those agreements which were made between the majority and the opposition two parties “will not impose any positive effect on the election environment.”
As the chair of Georgia’s Way, Kakha Seturidze mentioned that “those parties are ready to share responsibility with the authorities based on farce and falsification.” As he stated the authorities are still using an “already approbated method,“ meaning the door to door principle, which is absolutely useless .
Certain NGOs, including Georgia Young Lawyers Association, have also several times mentioned that those changes which are foreseen in the new election code, "would not be enough for improvement of the election environment in the country.”
At the same time, the Coalition for Civil Development, the NGO Public Defender, Research Centre of Elections, and Healthy World, held a conference on November 16. At the conference they underlined that those changes in the election code are against the constitution,”it is unacceptable to make any decision through consensus between some political directions when the consensus opposes the law and might bring about a state of crisis."
The authorities position is clear, they have stated that the agreement regarding election code was essential and those changes which are envisaged through the new election code will be positively reflected on Georgian election environment.