skip to content

Labor Party Leader in Strasbourg for ECHR Hearings

Shalva Natelashvili, the leader of the opposition Labor Party, left for Strasbourg to attend a hearing of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), on September 4, on the merits of a case taken by his party against Georgia.

The Labor Party argues that it was deprived of seats in Parliament because of electoral irregularities in the March 28, 2004 elections.

?I want to thank the Strasbourg-based court for its decision to hold public hearings into the case,? Natelashvili told reporters before his departure on September 2.

Guram Chalagashvili, who held the position of chairman of the Central Election Commission until August 31, has also left for Strasbourg to represent the state at the hearing.

?The Labor Party?s claim is absolutely groundless,? Chalagashvili told Imedi TV. ?We have enough evidence to rebuff the Labor Party?s case.?

The political standoff between the central authorities and then Adjarian leader, Aslan Abashidze, prevented the holding of the elections on March 28, 2004 in two electoral districts in the autonomous republic ? Kobuleti and Khulo. The vote was rescheduled for April 18, but polling stations failed to open, depriving around 60,000 voters of their right to cast a ballot.

On the same day, April 18, the Georgian Central Election Commission, chaired by Zurab Tchiaberashvili (now Georgia?s envoy to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg), finalized nation-wide election results, disregarding the two districts in Adjara and so prompting protests from the Labor Party. The party received 6.01%, while 7% was needed to clear the electoral threshold.

The Labor Party’s case posits that the March 28, 2004 parliamentary elections were in breach of Article 3 of Protocol No. 1 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which upholds the right to free elections.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


Back to top button