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Exemplary Presidential Election Promise

By Messenger Staff
Friday, July 12
Georgia will hold presidential elections on October 27, 2013. The date was finalized after certain scandals caused by President Mikheil Saakashvili. On July 10th Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili promised to hold exemplary democratic elections in his TV address.

From his very first days in Georgian politics, PM Ivanishvili has been trying to establish and follow the rules of the political "game". First of all, he excluded the possibility of cutting short the current presidential term of Saakashvili. It is well documented that the two previous presidents of Georgia were forced to step down.

Ivanishvili was particularly determined to avoid a repeat of this situation. He wants to transform the country into a democratic state with stable rules and traditions which will last.

Ivanishvili has once again declared that his political coalition has ambitions to make October’s presidential elections free and fair. This would be a demonstration of the fundamental changes which have taken place in the country. Georgian Dream targets not only winning the election, but to conduct it in a fair way. This would be a major victory for his vision.

There are multiple details which will determine whether the promises are fulfilled. First of all, Ivanishvili announced the end of the shameful practice where the entire administrative resources under the control of the ruling power were permitted to be used against the opposition.

The state belongs equally to each and every citizen and all the presidential candidates; therefore all the administrative resources, including the budgetary money, police, and other civil institutions should be mobilized to ensure a fair election environment not the victory of any particular party or it's candidates.

The PM urged the police to refrain from the detention of citizens for certain petty offences unless there are gross violations that deserve to be treated in a severe manner.

As Ivanishvili stated during the elections, prosecutors and judges are ordinary people and their choice will lead the way. Ivanishvili urged the allied parties from the Georgian Dream coalition who were the victims of state oppression by the United National Movement (UNM) government for many years, not to take revenge.

Ivanishvili appealed to all the political parties to distance themselves from injustice and use the opportunity to develop a worthy political future.

He promised to do everything possible to ensure that the election process will be carried fairly. The PM also asked the Georgian media to make objective and unbiased comments during the election coverage and prove that they do not favor either the government or the opposition.

“I am sure that in the forthcoming presidential election, the best candidate will win; and the defeated candidates will feel that they have competed in a fair competition where they contributed to the further development of a democratic country,” he stated.

The PM’s statements were commented on by the Secretary of Security Council, Giga Bokeria, who warned the ruling administration to stop exercising violence against their political opponents. He said it is unacceptable and hoped that the PM’s statements will be followed by changes in the existing situation.

So far, Giorgi Margvelashvili form the Georgian Dream coalition; former Parliamentary Chairperson and leader of the Democratic Movement – United Georgia, Nino Burjanadze; leader of the Labor Party, Shalva Natelashvili; and his former ally, Nestan Kirtadze have put their names forward as presidential candidates. The UNM is yet to hold primaries. However, presumably its leader, Davit Bakradze will be representing the UNM in the election race.

There is speculation that the leader of the Christian-Democratic Movement, Giorgi Targamadze’s and famous Georgian opera singer, Paata Burchuladze’s will also participate in the elections.