Four election observer groups welcomed resumption of consultations between a group of eight opposition parties and the ruling party on electoral system reform, but called on the sides to provide transparency of talks.
Ruling party and opposition representatives said last week that consultations had launched outside the now suspended negotiating format, known as Election Code Working Group (ECWG). A representative of the group of eight opposition parties said on May 6 that a first meeting with a ruling party negotiator was of “technical nature” to discuss “when and how” to resume talks and “what the agenda of talks might be”, as well as what type of modalities to apply to provide transparency of talks.
Within ECWG parties were holding regular meetings between November, 2010 and March, 2011 in presence of representatives from the several non-governmental organizations, including Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA); International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED); New Generation-New Initiative (nGnI) and Transparency International Georgia.
In a joint statement on May 10, these four watchdog groups called on the opposition and the ruling party to hold electoral consultations with maximum transparency in order to foster public confidence towards the process.