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Opposition Parties Sign ‘Charter of Commitments’
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 3 Jun.'09 / 17:35

A group of non-parliamentary opposition, mainly those behind the ongoing protest rallies, signed on June 3 a Charter of Commitments pledging to adhere to democratic principles when they come into power.

The 8-page document consists of three parts with the first one outlining ten commitments; in the second part it lays out, as it puts it, “failures of the Georgian authorities”; and the third part lays out the undersigned political parties’ vision and goals, which reads that “the best way to restore civil freedom and turn the country towards progress and development is through early presidential and parliamentary elections.”   

The parties also claim that turning of the Charter platform into reality “is achievable through continuing public protest and with following civil disobedience”. It also reads that ongoing protests “will stop only if the President resigns.”

“The President should resign immediately,” the Charter reads. ”The Interior Minister, Justice Minister, Tbilisi Mayor, Chairman of the Supreme Council, Chairman of the Central Election Commission should also resign and their activities during their presence in office should be subject to the Georgian Public Defender’s open investigation.”

The Charter was signed by 16 parties and individual opposition leaders, including Alliance for Georgia, uniting Irakli Alasania’s team, New Rights and Republicans; Democratic Movement – United Georgia; Movement for United Georgia; Conservatives; Georgia’s Way; Women’s Party; Party of People; Party of Future; Industrialists; National Forum; Levan Gachechiladze; Koka Guntsadze.

The list of commitments includes pledges that the undersigned parties, after coming into power, would secure free and fair elections; independent judiciary; civil control over the law enforcement agencies; transparent governance; inadmissibility of politically-motivated prosecutions; inviolability of the private property rights; free economy; restoration of the territorial integrity “solely through peaceful means.”

The list also includes carrying out “balanced foreign policy.” “Closer ties with our western partners and strengthening of course towards EU and NATO. Normalization of relations with Russia based on Georgia state interests and launch of new stage of relations with Russia based on mutual respect,” the document reads.
 
The Labor Party has refused to join the Charter citing that it did not reflect the social issues; the Labor Party also said that it did not agree with the foreign policy priorities laid out in the document. The Labor Party said in December, 2008 that Georgia should say no to NATO integration.

The Freedom Party, led by Konstantine Gamsakhurdia, has also refused to sign the document citing that the Charter reflected general aspirations to which his party was committed in anyway and there was no need for a separate additional document for that purpose.

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