About Civil.ge
Eng | Geo | Rus
Last updated: 10:55 - 1 May.'18
RSS
Mobile
Twitter
Facebook
EU Envoy Speaks of Need of Concessions from Both Sides
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 18 Apr.'09 / 14:09

Opposition should “put aside,” not necessarily “give up,” the demand for President Saakashvili’s immediate resignation and the authorities should not use a dialogue for marginalizing the opposition, Peter Semneby, the EU’s special representative for South Caucasus, said.

He suggested in an interview with RFE/RL Georgian service on April 17 that these two issues might be part of concessions that was required from the both sides. Semneby, although having no formal role of mediator, has held series of meetings with opposition leaders, government officials and representatives of the Georgian civil society in Tbilisi in recent days amid ongoing protest rallies.

“Of course, there are some concessions that are necessary on both sides and certainly the advice that we have been giving, that others have been giving, is that the primary aim of the demonstrators – the immediate resignation of the president – should be put aside,” Semneby said. “I'm not saying that they should give up this. It's a legitimate right in any democracy to make any political demand that keeps within the constitutional framework.”

“But in order to make sure that we have a dialogue it will, of course, not be helpful to have as the primary aim that the immediate departure of your negotiation partner. So, while this demand can of course remain, there has to be at the same time a dialogue on constitutional issues, on electoral issues, and so on, which will have to involve all the major political forces in Georgia,” he said.

On the part of the government, he continued, it should engage in a dialogue “in good faith” and should not take it “as an opportunity to put additional pressure on the opposition, to marginalize the opposition, and squeeze the opposition, but, actually, I would say, to empower it, even.”

EU diplomat suggested that the rallies had given the opposition “some leverage” and it was not in its interest that the demonstrations “just fizzled out.”

He, however, also warned that “this leverage will not last forever so it should be in their [opposition’s] interest to use it in a constructive way while it lasts.”

He also warned the authorities that if these demonstrations end without resolving “the fundamental, underlying” political issues, the similar political standoff might reoccur in - “I don't know how many months – three, four, six, twelve.”

“This is an opportunity to break this cycle that Georgia has been going through now for a long, long time of resolving issues in the streets. This is not the way that things are done in a modern democracy,” Semneby said, but he also stressed that protest rallies were part of democracy and a fundamental democratic right.

He said that the stakes were high and both the authorities and the opposition were aware of that.

“The stakes here concern the future of Georgia, how Georgia is governed, the political culture of Georgia, how Georgia is viewed in the world, which in turn will influence also how Georgia's partners and friends are able engage with Georgia,” he said. “So there are many implications that go beyond actually the more narrow issues that are in the focus of attention there before the parliament. So this is what is essentially at stake.”

He also said that although EU’s role as a formal mediator would not be appropriate, EU was ready to consider “any role” that might be acceptable for the both sides.  

Latest News
01 May.'18 10:55
We Have Moved to a New Platform
Direct Your Bookmarks to https://civil.ge.
29 Apr.'18 03:54
Ruling Party Candidate Wins MP By-Elections
Givi Chichinadze will represent Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency in the Parliament of Georgia.
28 Apr.'18 09:40
Polls Open for Vani and Khoni MP By-Elections
48,123 voters are eligible to cast their ballots in Vani and Khoni single-mandate constituency.
27 Apr.'18 17:23
State Dept’s Europe Affairs Point Man to Visit Tbilisi
Wess Mitchell will meet senior government officials and address the NATO-Georgia Public Diplomacy Forum.
27 Apr.'18 13:45
In Quotes: Georgian Politicians on Ex-PM Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Comeback
Bidzina Ivanishvili will be approved as the Georgian Dream party chairman at the upcoming convention.
26 Apr.'18 18:15
SG Jens Stoltenberg: Georgia NATO’s ‘Very Close’ Partner
The NATO Secretary General says Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow will recognize the country’s progress.
26 Apr.'18 14:24
Ex-PM Ivanishvili to Chair Georgian Dream Party
Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said Ivanishvili was ‘best equipped’ to add new dynamism to the party.
26 Apr.'18 11:12
Lawmaker Proposes Criminal Liability for ‘Insult of Religious Feelings’
The parliamentary human rights committee decided to set up a working group for scrutinizing the draft law.
25 Apr.'18 17:21
New Abkhaz Government Head Appointed
Gennady Gagulia has served as the Abkhaz “prime minister” twice - in 1995-1997, and 2002-2003.
25 Apr.'18 14:43
Watchdog Improves Georgia’s Press Freedom Ranking
None of the countries of the former Soviet Union (except the Baltics) are ranked ahead of Georgia.

About Civil Georgia
Civil.Ge © 2001-2019, Daily News Online
Registered office: 2 Dolidze Str, 4-th Floor.
47