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‘Peace memorandum’ against pre-election controversies

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 19
The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party has appealed to all election players in Georgia to “take responsibility” and not hold their party events when other political groups are hosting a meeting with its voters nearby or send ‘provocateurs’ to other parties’ political occasions.

The Executive Secretary of GDDG, Irakli Kobakhidze, has stated ahead of the October 8 Parliamentary Elections that holding rival parties election activities and events side by side “increased the risk” of tension and confrontations.

“If political parties took responsibility, such risks would be reduced to minimum,” Kobakhidze said.

Kobakhidze emphasized that the GDDG was ready to send a relevant memorandum to all political actors over the issue and hold consultations with them if they wished to make any corrections in the content.

“We hope all political parties and groups will join the memorandum,” Kobakhidze said.

A couple of days ago, Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili also highlighted the importance of avoiding rival parties’ not staying events at the same time.

The PM stressed that the ruling party has already refused to hold meetings with its voters if any other party had planned to do the same at the same time and venue.

The PM also said the previous ruling United National Movement (UNM) was creating special organizations to create unrest in the pre-election and election periods.

The UNM said the peace memorandum was “a lie” as the only major party engaged in planning provocations is the GDDG.

They said they do not intend to sign the deal.

One more political group which refused to follow the memorandum was the political unity of Georgia’s famous opera singer Paata Burchuladze.

Burchuladze, who leads the political coalition Paata Burchuladze - State for People, with non-parliamentary opposition New Rights and two parties established by ex-UNM members, said he did not believe in the memorandum.

“I am a peace Ambassador of the United Nations, I am always for peace. However, the Government of Georgia is less likely to meet the memorandum demands than any other party,” Burchuladze said.

Leaders of the parliamentary Republican and Free Democrats party, former member parties of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, say they will sign the memorandum.

Head of the Free Democrats Irakli Alasania even said the same memorandum had been offered by his party member Viktor Dolidze.

However, Alasania and Republican leader David Usupashvili both stated it was the Government which was responsible for any drawbacks in the election period.

Signing the memorandum means nothing if political parties do not realize their responsibilities.

Any confrontations during the election process first of all damage the state image and those parties, no matter whether they are in the ruling or opposition team, who stand behind the incident, will take anti-state steps.

Staging such provocations means a party thinks only about its own narrow interests and not about the country's future.

It has been proved many times in Georgia that political parties can forget their promises when it comes to their own interests.

Consequently, it would be more essential for the government to prevent any such incidents, with or without of the memorandum, as in the end the confrontations, if they happen, will be their responsibility and very negative for the state.