(UPDATE: adds ruling party’s response to the Georgian Dream’s statement in the seventh paragraph)
Georgian Dream opposition coalition, led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, said in a statement on July 23, that text of political parties’ code of conduct proposed by a group of civil society and media organizations was acceptable and that it was ready to consider adding some other points to this text including the one which deals with parties’ response to election results.
But the formulation offered by the Georgian Dream for this most controversial point about election results differs from the one proposed by the ruling party.
While the ruling party insists on taking commitment “to recognize election results summarized by the Central Election Commission and deemed legitimate by observer organizations with credible reputation”, the Georgian Dream’s statement provides different wording in this regard, offering parties to take commitment to resolve “all the disputed issues about election results solely through peaceful and constitutional way.”
The Georgian Dream also said that the seventeen-point declaration offered by This Affects You Too campaign group of civil society and media organizations, should serve as a basic text to which other points can be added.
“We support a document tabled by Georgian observer organizations under the aegis of This Affects You Too campaign and we are ready to undertake commitments to follow principles laid out in this document,” the Georgian Dream said in the statement. “We believe, that recent alternative initiatives by the ruling party, including the one to consider [This Affects You Too’s] document as a supplement to any other document, does not contribute to the declared goals.”
“We are ready to consider inclusion of additional points in the document proposed by the civil society, including the one about resolving all the disputed issues about election results solely through peaceful and constitutional way, as well as a commitment not to use hate speech against minorities and political opponents,” the Georgian Dream said.
The ruling UNM party welcomed the Georgian Dream’s declaration that all the disputed issues about election results should be resolved solely through peaceful and constitutional way, but also added that the fact the Ivanishvili-led coalition was refusing to agree on a formulation “to recognize election results summarized by the Central Election Commission and deemed legitimate by observer organizations with credible reputation”, was triggering questions about the Georgian Dream’s post-election intentions. The ruling party thinks that such position by the Georgian Dream triggers “reasonable suspicion” that the Ivanishvili’s coalition might be preparing for post-election street protests if election results are not favorable for the Georgian Dream even if elections are deemed legitimate by credible and neutral observer organizations.
The ruling United National Movement (UNM) proposed four-point declaration on July 14 for which it was criticized by the Georgian Dream for an attempt to hijack the process of development of the text, saying that it was in fact the initiative of civil society groups. On July 16 a coalition of election observer groups and media organizations, This Affects You Too, said the ruling party-proposed text was “not sufficient and enough for the genuine recovery of the process” and tabled seventeen-point declaration, which was also addressing executive authorities. Ruling party accepted the proposal on July 18 and offered other political parties to combine its four-point declaration with those principles tabled by This Affects You Too coalition.