Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili on Friday spoke in Tbilisi’s Dynamo Stadium to cheers from an enthusiastic crowd of supporters of his United National Movement, waving the parties distinctive red flag with the number 5, the party’s number on the election ballot. Saakashvili repeated the message that has been the hallmark of the UNM’s campaign, urging Georgia not to return to the past and to support the current government to enable it to pursue its current programme.
On Saturday, the opposition Georgia Dream Coalition held large rallies in the capital Tbilisi and in Georgia’s second city Kutaisi. Thousands of supporters waving blue flags with the Coalition’s logo enthusiastically cheered on the Coalition’s leader Bidhzina Ivanishvili who slammed the government for its failures particularly in field of governance. Ivanishvili said that his party will not allow criminal godfathers to be replaced by a government of godfathers and said that the present government will for ever be remembered for its torture of prisoners and abuse of power.
The large political events of the last days went on without incident, thanks to strict management exercised by the political movements themselves, something that has been positively noted by those observing the process.
Sunday is a day of silence when no political activity is allowed and on Monday Georgian’s head to the polls to cast their vote in what many consider to be their most important election since Georgia retained its independence in 1991.
3,613,851 voters divided in 73 constituencies throughout the country are registered to vote.
The politicians have spoken and it is now time for the Georgian people to speak. It is the duty of everybody involved with the electoral process to ensure that the voting process is conducted in a calm and peaceful manner in order to allow the people to exercise their right to vote freely and without any intimidation. Chaos and incidents in polling stations are often created artificially in order to camouflage more serious election fraud and domestic and international observers will be on the look out for such incidents.
The heads of the Parliamentary delegations of the OSCE, Council of Europe, NATO and the European Parliament, observing Georgia’s October 1 elections, have called on all political leaders to use “the remaining hours of the election campaign to promote their political platforms and exercise restraint, renounce violence and not respond to provocation.” “We believe that the Georgian people must be able to exercise their civil and democratic rights and choose their representatives in a peaceful atmosphere. Political leaders should be chosen through the ballot box and not on the streets”, the heads of delegations said in a joint statement on September 29.