A day after Tbilisi-based election observer non-governmental organization, New Generation-New Initiative (nGnI), stirred debate on election date by announcing intention to appeal Constitutional Court to move parliamentary polls from October to spring, it said it was no longer planning to file a lawsuit.
nGnI said in a statement on February 17, that announcement about its plans to appeal court a day earlier stirred controversy with “political spectrum and other stakeholders opposing to even initiate this process” of moving the parliamentary election date from October, 2012 to this spring.
The group said that while it still remained on its position that it was unconstitutional to hold elections in October as it would extend sitting Parliament’s four-year term in office for several months, it was dropping the plans to appeal the Constitutional Court.
nGnI, which was co-founded in 2003 by Koki Ionatamishvili who is now a member of Tbilisi City Council (Sakrebulo) from the ruling National Movement party said that “a political consensus over election date” was “an integral part” for holding election campaign in free and competitive environment.
“Following our announcement we have received feedback from many fellow civil society organizations regarding the potential negative impact that a shortened pre-election campaign period may have on the upcoming parliamentary election process. We take these concerns seriously and as a result we will not proceed with this appeal,” nGnI said on February 17.
After the announcement was made by nGnI on February 16 about its intention to go to the court over the election date, some opposition politicians suggested that there might be the ruling party’s hidden hand behind the planned court appeal, indicating on past affiliation of ruling party figure Koki Ionatamishvili to nGnI.
nGnI said on February 17, that such insinuations were “regrettable”.
“While former nGnI staff members went on to become affiliated with the United National Movement, they have no say over the mission and objectives of the organization and by no means are involved in day to day operations. nGnI is committed to its mission of being an impartial voice in the promotion of a free and fair rule of law and democracy in Georgia,” the group said.