On September 14, the ruling Georgian Dream and the opposition parties signed, albeit separately amid trading accusations, the Code of Conduct of Political Parties for October 31 parliamentary elections.
According to the Central Election Commission, the Code was drafted with the support of Switzerland, USAID and International Republican Institute and it represents a “set of norms of voluntary ethics aimed at protecting democratic values and fundamental freedoms; conduct of a substantive, program-oriented, inclusive election campaign that provides equal opportunities for electoral stakeholders.”
According to the Code of Conduct, political parties agree on various principles, including general principles, on fair and dignified competition, on respecting the voters’ rights and on its execution and monitoring.
In article 1 of the Code, the parties agree to observe the law, act in accordance with the constitution and the principles of democratic governance. The parties vow to respect and defend the rights of voters, candidates and political parties, without engaging in hate speech or discrimination. The parties agree to conduct an election process that is inclusive and representative, as well as peaceful.
According to the CoC article 2, the political parties agree to respect their opponents, not to obstruct each other’s campaign activities and not to disseminate deliberately false information about each other, including through personal or through 3rd party means such as the usage of the internet “bots”.
Article 3 discusses the voters’ rights, with the parties agreeing to empower the voters to make an informed choice, without pressure or threats. They agree to observe social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention measures, as well as, to abstain from vote-buying.
According to article 4, parties agree to implement the Code of Conduct into the party’s organizational structure and daily activities, to enable international observers, CSOs and media outlets to monitor and assess the fulfillment of these responsibilities. The political parties agree to also conduct internal monitoring regarding the responsibilities.
The opposition parties signed the Code together, at the Labor Party office. Below is the list of all parties that signed the Code of Conduct, as of September 14:
- Georgian Dream
- Victorious Georgia
- Free Democrats
- Christian-Conservative Party
- Giorgi Vashadze – Strategia Agmashenebeli
- Freedom – Zviad Gamsakhurdia’s Way
- New Christian-Democrats
- Georgian Labor Party
- Georgian Republican Party
- Movement – State for People
- Christian-Democratic Movement
- European Democrats of Georgia
- United National Movement
- New Political Center – Girchi
- United Georgia-Democratic Movement
- European Georgia
- Civil Alliance for Freedom
- For Justice
- Lelo for Georgia
- National-Democratic Party