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Plebiscite Question Agreed

The government has agreed to the opposition-proposed wording for the forthcoming plebiscite on the timing of parliamentary elections.

“The opposition’s demand has been met and the question will be formulated in the following way: do you agree or not to hold parliamentary elections in spring?” Justice Minister Eka Tkeshelashvili said on December 19.

She was speaking with reporters after the inter-agency group on elections, which she chairs, met with acting President Nino Burjanadze.

The proposed plebiscite – unlike a referendum – is non-binding. According to the law, it must be worded in such a way that can only be answered by a simple Yes or No. It will be held simultaneously with the January 5 early presidential election.

Although a technical matter, the wording of the question had been a source of disagreement, with the opposition favoring a spring-dominated wording, while the government had wanted autumn mentioned in the question.

The authorities are pushing for holding parliamentary elections in late 2008, while the opposition wants spring 2008, as was envisaged before controversial constitutional amendments in December 2006 resulted in a change in dates.


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