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Ruling party ‘peace memorandum’ ahead of elections

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, September 23
The ruling Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) party has released a text of a memorandum that envisages reaching a political agreement between different political parties to refrain from provoking each other during the pre-election and election periods.

The memorandum, dubbed a “peace memorandum” by the GDDG, said the political parties took responsibility not to coincide their party events with the election activities of other political players.

In particular, by signing the document, election participants agree to distance their supporters from a rally, meeting or any election-related event organised by another political group, and do their best not to allow their supporters to hinder an event being held by another political party or person.

The Executive Secretary of the GDDG party, Irakli Kobakhidze, stressed that the memorandum, which was already sent to different political parties to sign, had “no legal power” and was a political deal through which the signatory political parties took responsibility to ensure a peaceful election environment.

Kobakhidze stressed that if a party refused to sign the memorandum it will be a “signal” about the party’s “less peaceful election attempts.”

Shortly after the GDDG made the statement and released the memorandum text, a member of the opposition New Rights party, Mamuka Katsitadze - which is now united in the coalition Paata Burchuladze State for People bloc - said the memorandum was a “lie”

Katsitadze appealed to the GDDG to ensure different state bodies to sign the deal in order to take the political responsibility “not to suppress the opposition.”

Katsitadze stressed that the GDDG and the current Government stood behind almost all pre-election illegalities.

The Free Democrats party, which was part of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition between 2012-2014, said they had “no problem” with signing the memorandum.

However, they stressed that the Government is ultimately responsible for ensuring peaceful and transparent elections.

Georgia’s Republican Party has signed the memorandum, and said there must not be any “but”, “or” , “if” over such issues from Georgian political parties.