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UNM Agrees on Broader Code of Conduct for Political Parties
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 19 Jul.'12 / 20:13

The ruling United National Movement (UNM) has offered other political parties to combine its four-point code of conduct of parties with those principles, which were laid out by a group of civil society organizations.

UNM put forth a four-point declaration on July 14 and called on other parties to join it. According to the proposed declaration undersigned parties will commit themselves to reject violence and obstructing campaigning of other parties; to reject vote-buying; to follow recommendations of civil society organizations and Inter-Agency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections at the National Security Council in respect of use of administrative resources; to recognize election results, “summarized by the Central Election Commission and deemed legitimate by observer organizations with credible reputation."

Some political parties, including Christian-Democratic Movement (CDM) and New Rights have said they would join the declaration. Bidzina Ivanishvili-led Georgian Dream coalition said that the idea itself to agree on code of conduct ahead of elections was acceptable, but said the document should have been developed by participation of other parties and civil society organizations.

This Affects You Too, a collation of several local civil society and media organizations, said in a statement on July 16 that an agreement on key principles between political parties to secure peaceful and fair electoral process ahead of the October parliamentary polls was important, especially in currently existing polarized environment, but four-point declaration, put forth by the ruling party, was “not sufficient and enough for the genuine recovery of the process.” In its July 16 statement, the group laid out those seventeen principles, which it thinks, should be included to such a code of conduct.

Speaking at a news conference on July 19, Parliamentary Chairman Davit Bakradze said that principles laid out by the civil society organizations were “important” and “valued” and offered to add all those principles as a fifth point to the ruling party’s four-point proposal.

“I think that these principles should be acceptable for all those parties, which are interested in having an electoral process free of valance, vote-buying, misuse of administrative resources, as well as for all those parties, which are interested in holding really democratic elections instead of using elections as a pretext for triggering some other processes,” Bakradze said.

He said that the ruling party would now wait for a response of those parties who “are genuinely interested in holding of democratic elections.”

“I call on all the political parties to accept these principles offered by the non-governmental organizations in addition to those principles which were offered [by the ruling party] last week,” Bakradze said.

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