skip to content

Opposition’s Four Demands

Ten-party opposition coalition outlined its four major demands on October 17 and sent them to the President Saakashvili and Parliamentary Chairperson, Nino Burjanadze.

• Holding of parliamentary elections in spring 2008, instead of late 2008

Presidential and parliamentary elections, in line with last December’s constitutional amendment, will be held simultaneously sometime between October and December 2008. It is up to President Saakashvili to set the exact date for the polls. The amendment was slammed by the opposition as “undemocratic” as it has prolonged the term of the sitting Parliament for several months. It has also decreased President Saakashvili’s term in office by several months.

• Creation of new election administrations with representatives from political parties

The current Central Election Commission (CEC) is composed of certified electoral officials, who, by law, should not have any party affiliations. Opposition politicians, however, have said that the appointment of Levan Tarkhnishvili, who is believed to have close links with the ruling party, as chief of the CEC has once again demonstrated that the authorities are not willing to lessen their grip on the CEC.

• Change of the current majoritarian election system – a first-past-the-post, “winner takes all” system

According to the current rule of election of majoritarian MPs, only that party, which garners most of the votes in a multi-mandate (ranging from two to five-mandate) constituency, will endorse all of its nominees. As an alternative to this rule, the opposition has recently proposed a rule according to which voters should cast their ballots not to a party but to an individual majoritarian MP candidate regardless of a candidate’s party affiliation.

• Release of “political prisoners” and “prisoners of conscience”

The demand refers to Irakli Batiashvili. Tbilisi City Court found Batiashvili, an opposition politician, guilty of providing “intellectual assistance,” essentially providing advice, to a rebel warlord, Emzar Kvitsiani, and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment this May. Public Defender, Sozar Subari, said in August that the court verdict against an opposition politician, Irakli Batiashvili, was “unjustified” and was made on the basis of insufficient evidence.


Back to top button