Opposition Calls for ‘Fair Format’ of Talks on Election Code
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 29 Jul.'10 / 17:40

Seven opposition parties said in a joint statement on July 29 that clearly defined “fair” procedures should be set in order to make talks on electoral system with the authorities fruitful.

The ruling party called on July 21 for resumption of an inter-party working group on electoral reform “to further improve the electoral environment” in the country before 2012 parliamentary elections.

Series of talks in frames of inter-party group were hosted by U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) Tbilisi office ahead of the May, 2010 local elections. NDI’s resident director for Georgia, Luis Navarro, said on July 21 the organization was ready to continue hosting the talks.

Decisions in the working group were taken based on consensus. Although the group developed amendments to the election code ahead of the local elections, it became deadlocked on some key issues because of disagreements between the ruling party and some opposition parties.

Conservative Party; Georgia’s Way; National Forum; New Rights; Our Georgia-Free Democrats; Party of People and Republican Party said in the joint statement that they “welcome any organization’s willingness to facilitate creation of electoral environment needed for holding free and fair elections.”

“Many years of experience of having relation on the matter [election-related issues] with the authorities showed us that creation of fair mechanism for facilitation, discussion of election code and decision-making is required for fruitful talks,” the statement reads.

“These meetings [referring to previous rounds of talks in frames of working group] have demonstrated, that agreement on new format of talks is required, which will be possible only if influential political parties, interested in creation of fair electoral environment, will participate in the process of setting proper mechanisms,” the statement says.

In the statement the parties does not give details of what type of format for talks they prefer.

Key non-parliamentary opposition parties, including those which undersigned the statement, refused to join the inter-party working group when it was first established in February, 2009. New Rights; Our Georgia-Free Democrats and Republican parties, which at the time were united in coalition Alliance for Georgia, decided to join the group in September, 2009.

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