Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has repeated his committment to hold free, fair and transparent parliamentary elections in the Autumn. Addressing a meeting of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Economic Forum in the Georgian Black Sea Port of Batumi, Saakashvili described the committment as important for the country’s future security.
“We would like a large number of international observers, including from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to come before the elections,” Saakashvili said. “We want to get their advice before the elections. The advice will enable us to improve the pre-election sphere to conduct the most transparent elections.” The Georgian President said “we are ready to cooperate with international institutions and will do everything to hold just elections for no one to have any questions.”
The Georgian President also said that Russia had decided to conduct large military exercises in the Caucasus region close to the Georgian elections . The President said that for these reasons the elections are very important, “on the one hand, for Georgian credentials, but they also have a huge security dimension.”
The opposition Armenian National Congress, an alliance of opposition political parties and groups headed by former Armenian President Levon ter-Petrossyan, has petitioned the Armenian Constitutional court asking that the results of the 6 May elections according to the proportional system be annulled because of election irregularities. Earlier several ANC candidates had also addressed the court with similar appeals for cancelling the results of the elections in a number of single seat majoritarian elections. The President of the Constitutional Court has asked judges to review the cases, according to a court spokesperson.
Parliament of Georgia
Georgia’s ruling party, the United National Movement, is pushing ahead with a constitutional change that will bring Georgia in line with progressive European countries.An initiative of the UNM aims at revising the Constitution of Georgia by lowering the age at which one can stand for a parliamentary seat from 25 to 21 years. The public discussion period for draft amendments has concluded, and a discussion on the results of these meetings took place in Parliament on May 7, where it was recommended that the initiative enter the standard legislative process. More…
Georgian media has over the last weeks carried a string of reports of intimidation, by officials of local authorities, of opposition supporters in Georgia’s regions. There are also reports of violence against opposition activists.
Rezonansi newspaper and other media outlets have reported the dismissal of more than twenty school teachers in the Shida Kartli region due to their support of opposition parties, or as in the case of Gori School teacher, Ia Bzhalava, because her husband was an activist of the opposition Free Democrats.
The web site Democracy and Freedom (DF) Watch also reported the case of Giorgi Beruashvili, former employee of Privat-Bank in Kareli, a village in Shida Kartli, who was fired only because his sister and mother were attending a Georgian Dream meeting. He told DF Watch that he was considered as one of the bank’s most valued employees before that presentation, and no one had ever mentioned that he was in danger of being fired. But the day after the presentation, he was told that he was fired, because ‘members of his family think in an opposition way.’
Tsisana Javakhishvili says she was the only biology teacher at the public school in the village Nikozi near Gori. She was fired only because she held different views; her husband participated in the local elections in 2010, representing the Free Democrats. The official reason for her firing was lack of experience. But it later emerged that the headmaster directly told her she had to leave her job because of the political views of her husband, because ‘he didn’t need an oppositional [person] at school.’ More…
On May 15, the European Union issued its annual package assessing its relations with its neighbouring countries in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The package was introduced to journalists by High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security, Catherine Ashton and by Enlargement and ENP Commissioner Stefan Fule.
In the documents, the EU sends a clear and unequivocal message to the three South Caucasus countries to make improvements on a number of issues related to elections and the broader aspects of democracy and human rights. Whilst recognising that some progress has been made, particularly in Armenia and Georgia the reports highlight serious shortcomings in all three countries. More…
Armenian Parliamentary Elections
6 May 2012 – Results
Number of voters: 1,573,053
Number of voters on the voting list (including those registered on polling day): 2,523,101
Percentage of voter turnout: 62.26%
Number of blank or invalid votes: 53,831
Results (Proportional Lists Elections) :
Republican Party: 664,440 (44.02%)
Prosperous Armenia: 454,673 (30.12%)
ANC: 106,903 (7.08%)
ARF: 85,550 (5.67%)
Rule of Law: 83,123 (5.51%)
Heritage: 86,998 (5.76%)
Armenian Communist Party: 15,899 (1.5%)
Democratic Party of Armenia: 5,577 (0.37%)
United Armenians Party: 2,945 (0.20%) More…