Georgian Elections: Mostly Free but largely unfair.

Like the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian parliamentary elections held on 1 October 2012, reflected a mix of the best and worst practises for conducting elections in a free and democratic society.

Regardless of the result and the controversy around it that will continue for some time to come, the picture is patchy. More…

The election programmes of the main Georgian political parties. 1

Amidst all the controversy surrounding the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia it is sometimes easy to forget the issues at stake, and what the parties stand for. Marion Kipiani has been going through the election programmes of four major Georgian political parties to compare their positions on a range of issues

In the latest issue of Caucasus Elections Watch she summarises the position of the United National Movement, Georgian Dream, the Christian Democratic Movement and the New Rights Party on issues ranging from Education and health care to the country’s  territorial integrity.

 

 

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Ivanishvili’s warns international community of spiralling crisis. Reactions.

On 30th August, Bidhzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the Georgian Dream coalition sent a letter to international leaders regarding the forthcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia. The following is the full text of the letter

By this letter, I would like to appeal to the international democratic community.

The fate of Georgia will be decided by the outcome of the upcoming October 1 election , and to a great degree, how the election will proceed will be determined by  the leaders of international democracies around the world:  Will Georgia finally start   on a path towards democratic development or will the country continue its fight against authoritarianism and post-communism. More…

Party Lists reflect delicate balances within National Movement and Georgian Dream.

The deadline has closed for the submission of the list of candidates – the so-called Party list – for the election of  77 out of the 150 seats in the Parliamentary Elections in Georgia next month. Each party will win seats according to the number of votes it gets, as long as it passes the 5% thresh-hold. Seats are assigned according to the ranking on the list.

In theory parties should put forward their best people first, in practise the lists reflect delicate power balances. More…

PACE rapporteurs say fines against Georgian Opposition “undermine normal political activity.”

The co-rapporteurs for Georgia of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Michael Aastrup Jensen (Denmark, ALDE) and Boriss Cilevics (Latvia, SOC) today expressed their concern about the reports that the Georgian authorities have seized the bank accounts of the Georgian Dream opposition coalition, thereby undermining its participation in the election campaign for the parliamentary elections that will take place on 1 October 2012.

A statement published on the website of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe states:

“The excessive and disproportionate fines levied by the State Audit Service effectively undermine normal political activity by an opposition party. This is of concern, especially in the context of recurrent allegations of bias of the State Audit Service and reports by credible organisations, such as the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, that question the fairness of the court decisions in this respect.

The rationale for campaign funding legislation is to ensure a level playing field between all electoral contestants, and not to drive one party or the other out of the electoral race. The upcoming elections, and their democratic conduct, are crucial for Georgia’s democratic development. We therefore call upon the Georgian authorities to demonstrate maximum restraint and to ensure that all parties, including the Georgian Dream Coalition, can participate fully in the electoral campaign” they added.

The two co-rapporteurs will visit Georgia on 11 and 12 September 2012 as part of the pre-electoral mission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

source: CEW with www.coe.int