29 local civil society organizations, including Transparency International, Open Society Georgia Foundation and UN Association of Georgia, together with 19 civic activists, urged the Party of European Socialists (PES), that includes Georgia’s ruling Georgian Dream party, “to take immediate and adequate actions” in response to the “grave challenges to the pluralistic and participatory democracy” in Georgia.
In a statement of November 15 the signatories said that Georgian Dream’s rejection of the constitutional amendment yesterday, “adds on to the ongoing state capture by the informal governor of Georgia and the chair of the party” Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The Party of European Socialists that brings together 33 full members, 12 associate and 12 observer parties, includes the Georgian Dream party.
The statement addressing President and Secretary General of PES, Sergei Stanishev and Achim Post, respectively, reads that “the actions taken by the ruling party are in conflict with the foundational values and principles of PES.”
“We believe that the Party of European Socialists, which is probably the party closest to the ordinary people, is best placed to have a strong reaction to these actions by its sister party, which violates the principles of participatory democracy and is aimed at clinging to power against the will of people,” Georgian CSOs and civic activists underlined.
The statement also called on Stanishev and Post to “remain vigilant regarding the developments in Georgia,” and “not to have any illusions and be misled by the claims from the ruling party representatives that this was a demonstration of internal party democracy.”
“Rather, this is a continuation of the process of the state capture by the oligarch Ivanishvili, who wishes to prolong his rule in Georgia through these pseudo-democratic processes,” the signatories added.