The messenger logo

Pre-election norms of conduct for political parties

By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, July 18
Recently there were several cases when a group of people very aggressively met the representatives of the opposition Georgian Dream coalition and insulted them– saying nasty things, sometimes beating them, throwing stones and breaking car windows. The opposition unanimously pointed at the ruling administration as responsible for these actions. The ruling power however, denies these allegations saying that this is a reaction of the local population towards opposition representatives. This is hard to believe, because most of the locals recognize and identify this aggressive group of people as those who are in close connection with the ruling National Movement, their relatives, activists and so on… Of course all the parties condemn such a reality, so in order to not to lose face, the ruling party voiced the initiative to create a document that sets the rules of conduct for political entities during the pre-election period.

The National Movement initiative consists of four points and there is nothing new in it apart from the public declaration advocating the democratic norms of holding elections. These points highlight that the participating parties vow not to use any kind of forceful acts against each other. Parties should also refuse to bribe the voters. Parties should also cease to use administrative resources; the participating sides accept the results of the confirmed results tallied by the central election commission (CEC).

The above mentioned points can be divided. The first two concerns all participating entities, whereas the third can be only applied to the ruling party because no other parties have access to administrative resources, therefore, the ruling power is controlling itself which is nonsense. As for the forth point, it looks like the ruling authorities want to receive guarantees that as soon as the results are declared by CEC, nobody should challenge the results. Just a reminder, the Rose Revolution took place almost nine-years ago because the then ruling power rigged the election results and people went against it.

Some opposition parties immediately announced their readiness to sign the document proposed by the National Movement, these were the Christian Democrats, the New Rights and the National Democratic Party. These parties are the so-called “constructive opposition” labeled by the ruling power, whereas the leaders of Georgian Dream coalition are seriously challenging the above-mentioned declaration. One of the leaders of the coalition, Zakaria Kutsnashvili, challenged the sincerity of the National Movement initiative. Kutsnashvili suggests that for signing the document, the officials should investigate the case that took place in the village of Karaleti, where some people brutally attacked a group of opposition members. “Let them investigate, identify and punish the participants of this brutal attack,” says Kutsnashvili. According to him, this would not take place if the National Movement wasn’t behind the violent action.

They also expressed the opinion that some points of the proposed declaration fall under the legislation of the country. Violence, aggression, insults and physical attacks are all criminal activities, persecuted by the law. The second point, which concerns bribing of the voters, is also already forbidden by law.

As some analysts suggest, this initiative was merely a PR move in behalf of the ruling power to show Georgia’s Western allies its ‘pseudo’ commitment to democratic principles. The ruling power members have strongly backed the initiative, considering it as a demonstration of their democratic goodwill towards conducting fair elections.