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Joint statement of non-governmental organizations regarding the announced sanctions against the opposition parties

17.12.2020

 
Signatory organizations are extremely concerned about the initiative announced by the authorities, as it essentially aims to impose sanctions due to the protest of the opposition parties as a result of which opposition MPs renounce their parliamentary mandates.

Political crisis, which today is evident, was the result of the 2020 parliamentary elections. Interestingly, due to the promised transition to the almost proportional system, public was most hopeful towards these elections. Although due to the significant irregularities NGOs have described it as the least free and the least democratic elections throughout an entire period of "Georgian Dream" government.   Requesting the recount of the votes, the observation missions have first appealed to district election commissions and then to the courts, but to no avail as most of the requests were unreasonably dismissed. As a result, suspicions of election fraud have grown in the society, and it has in turn greatly reduced the legitimacy of the elected parliament.

It should be noted that negotiations between the government and the opposition parties mediated by the facilitator ambassadors, unfortunately, have not yet led to an agreement on all important issues. In addition, until the demands are met, majority of opposition parties categorically refuse to enter the Parliament, which has been confirmed by a signature of the memorandum on the renouncement of the mandates and the withdrawal of party lists. As a result of the above, the 10th Parliament sitting of 11 December, 2020 was attended by the ruling party alone.  

It is clear that Georgia is in a large-scale and multifaceted crisis, for which the Georgian government bears primary responsibility. Severe and concurrent crises in the fields of healthcare, justice, economy and political life has a dramatic impact on the quality of life of citizens living in Georgia and causes irreparable harm to our national interests both in the short and long term. 

It is most unfortunate that when each of the three branches of the government should be making every possible effort to remedy the situation and seek for the solution, representatives of the ruling party make statements in regards to initiating restrictions on the activities of opposition parties. In this regard it is particularly alarming that the ruling party has initiated the draft law, that amongst others includes nullification of the budget funding and of the free airtime for opposition parties for the next elections.  

Such statements once again indicate that the government is not aware of its responsibility to resolve the existing crisis and further indicates that noted rhetoric can be viewed as a threat to opposition parties - to act in accordance with government directives so as not to fall victim to sanctions by the ruling party.

  • Georgian Democracy Initiative (GDI)
  • Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia)
  • Institute for Democracy and Safety Development (IDSD)
  • Media Development Foundation (MDF)
  • Tolerance and Diversity Institute (TDI)
  • Georgia's Reforms Associates (GRASS)
  • Human Rights Center (HRC)
  • Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)
  • International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
  • Partnership for Human Rights (PHR)
  • Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI)
  • Rehabilitation Initiative for Vulnerable groups (RIVG)
  • Rights Georgia (RG)
  • Governance Monitoring Centre (GMC) 

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