Eight parties, mainly those having representation in the Parliament, joined a code of conduct laying out principle to which they committed themselves to follow while working on reform of election code.
The document, Code of Conduct for Political Parties Willing to Participate in the Election Legislation Working Group, was signed with the facilitation of U.S. National Democratic Institute.
The following parties have signed the document: the ruling National Movement party; Christian-Democrats (a leading party in the parliamentary minority group); Democratic Party (set up by two lawmakers from parliamentary minority – Gia Tortladze and Gia Tsagareishvili); On Our Own (led by lawmaker from parliamentary minority Paata Davitaia); Georgian Troupe (led by MP Jondi Bagaturia); National-Democratic Party (which has one seat in the parliament, whose representative is part of the parliamentary minority); Labor Party (led by MP Shalva Natelashvili, who along with his three other fellow party members are lawmakers, although boycotting the parliamentary sessions) and Industrialist Party, which has no representation in the Parliament.
“Changing of election legislation is a long working process and that point is reflected in the code of conduct; this process [of reforming the election code] is no way related with early elections,” Davit Bakradze, the Parliamentary Chairman, said on February 26.
One of the principles of the document reads: “The ultimate objective for Georgia is a stable environment for the conduct of elections. This means that a period of stability will be needed after the enactment of any reforms.”
Other parties can still join the code, but it is less likely that they, especially those calling for protest rally on April 9 to demand resignation of President Saakashvili, will do so.