PM Irakli Garibashvili called on the law enforcement agencies not to apply detention or other forms of, as he put it “legal restriction of rights” of those activists and political figures who are involved in a campaign ahead of the June 15 local elections.
Speaking at a government session on April 14, PM Garibashvili said that every political party should be able to carry out election campaign and for that reason, he said, “I want to declare moratorium.”
“I want to call on the law enforcement agencies to maximally refrain in the pre-election period from legal restriction of rights and detention of those persons, who are actively engaged in the election campaign. It [detention] should be used only as a measure of last resort and only in those cases when there is a clearly justified and urgent necessity,” he said.
UNM opposition party has long been protesting against cases of filing criminal charges and detention of some of its representatives, who were planning to run in the local elections, as well as over summoning of its activists and leaders for questioning by prosecutors.
Apparently referring to recent cases when pro-government groups confronted UNM opposition leaders and activists, PM Garibashvili said that “aggression, accumulated in the society, is periodically expressed towards the former government representatives.”
“But I want to call on each citizen that local elections are approaching and these elections should become one more demonstration of the fact that real changes have taken place in Georgia and that the political team, which is in the government, is firmly on the path of democracy and represents the guarantor of holding genuinely free and fair elections,” the PM said.
He called on the media sources to cover election campaign “objectively and without bias”. He also said called on the international and local election observer organizations to engage actively in monitoring of the election campaign and provide their recommendations, which the government, he said, “will of course take into consideration.”
“I believe that these elections, like the  presidential election, will be exemplary and unprecedented not only for our country but for the entire region as well,” Garibashvili said.