News

15
November2019

Address of Georgian Civil Society Organizations and Civic activists to the European Socialists Party (PES)

Dear President Stanishev,

Dear Secretary-General Post,

We, the undersigned representatives of the Georgian civil society organizations and civic activists, would like to address you at this important moment in the history of modern Georgia and urge you to take immediate and adequate actions responding to the grave challenges to the pluralistic and participatory democracy in the country, as a result of the actions of the ruling party Georgian Dream, a sister party to PES, which adds on to the ongoing state capture by the informal governor of Georgia and the chair of the party Mr. Ivanishvili.

The much promised and awaited change of the electoral system (transition to the fully proportionate one), which had been achieved as a result of the mass youth-led street protests during summer 2019, and which was a consensus request of all the opposition parties but also of the civil society for nearly a decade, was rejected by the ruling party in the Parliament on November 14. A process was staged, as if the current majoritarian MPs whose names were also among the initiators of the changes to the Parliament (36), rebelled against the proposed amendments. In fact, the public has no doubt that this was an artificially manipulated process from the very beginning and that it has been masterminded by the chair of the ruling party, oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, who has been a single-handed decision-maker in the Georgian Dream. This irresponsible step of the ruling party, pushes the political process out of parliament into the street, thereby jeopardizing public safety and stability in the country.

The situation is developing and evolving rather dynamically, people took it to the street, some of the ruling party representatives have also broken off from the party, and, if there is no immediate adequate reaction from the ruling party there is a serious risk of crisis deepening and the processes going out of control.

We believe that the actions taken by the ruling party are in conflict with the foundational values and principles of PES, but also are clearly against all five values of the moral compass for political action as stated in 2013 PES Fundamental Programme: ‘Freedom, democracy, equality, justice, and solidarity’, as this decision is clearly against the will of the people of Georgia and undermines the equal political playing field.

Having conveyed to you the information on the latest developments, but also the sentiments of the people of Georgia, 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. We ask you to remain vigilant regarding the developments in Georgia, but also, 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.

We remain at your disposal should you need any clarification or questions.

Signatories:

  1. Transparency International Georgia
  2. Georgian Democracy Initiative
  3. Open Society Georgia Foundation
  4. Georgia's Reforms Associates
  5. Economic Policy Research Center
  6. Society and Banks
  7. Atlantic Council of Georgia
  8. Georgian Farmers Association
  9. Regional Center for Strategic Studies
  10. Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies
  11. Georgian Young Lawyers Association
  12. Green Alternative
  13. In depth reporting and Advocacy Center
  14. Sapari
  15. Human Rights Canter
  16. Civil Development Agency
  17. Tolerance and Diversity Institute
  18. Centre Empathy
  19. Media Development Foundation
  20. International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
  21. UN Association of Georgia
  22. Institute for Development of Freedom of Information
  23. World Experience for Georgia
  24. Article 42 of the constitution
  25. Equality Movement
  26. Dusheti Development  Fund
  27. Kutaisi Information Center
  28. Public Monitoring and Research Center - Kharagauli
  29. Liberty Institute
  30. Salome Barker
  31. Mariam Bajelidze
  32. Giorgi Mzhavanadze
  33. Zuka Berdzenishvili
  34. Shota Dighmelashvili
  35. Giga Makarashvili
  36. Tatusha Arveladze
  37. Mariam Geguchadze
  38. Nodar Rukhadze
  39. Sopo Kuchava
  40. Lexo Machavariani
  41. Jaba Zarkua
  42. Giorgi Noniashvili
  43. Zaza Abashidze
  44. Mariam Dolidze
  45. Tamar Kuratishvili
  46. Giorgi Gabriadze
  47. Ana Charkhalashvili
  48. Gegi Salukvadze