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Georgian CSOs, Civic Activists Urge European Socialists to Take ‘Immediate, Adequate Actions’

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.

With 101 votes in favor and three against, the Georgian Parliament voted down the bill that would change Georgia’s mixed electoral system to fully proportional one from 2020, instead of 2024. While all of 44 MPs of opposition parties supported the bill, Georgian Dream’s three lawmakers voted against the amendment and 37 abstained, making the bill fall short of the needed 113 votes, three fourths of sitting 150 MPs.

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.

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


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