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Ruling Party, Opposition 'in Consultations on Electoral Reform'
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 5 May.'11 / 20:59

The ruling party and a group of eight opposition parties are holding consultations on electoral system reform, representatives from the both sides have said.

“Consultations have been launched individually with [separate] parties; that’s the best way to achieve an agreement,” Akaki Minashvili, a senior ruling party lawmaker, told Civil.ge on May 5.

Davit Berdzenishvili of the Republican Party, part of the group of eight opposition parties, said that one meeting with the ruling party representatives had already been held.

“So far there is only a willingness on the part of [the authorities] to keep relations, without yet putting any substantive issue [for discussions],” Davit Berdzenishvili told Civil.ge on May 5.

He said that the ruling party wanted to have negotiations separately with parties within the group of eight, but the latter, Berdzenishvili said, was represented by “a single individual”.

The sides have declined to discuss details of the consultations.

The group of eight opposition parties does not represent a formal coalition or an electoral bloc; it only has an agreement to speak with one voice with the authorities over the electoral-related issues.

The group of eight parties, along with some other smaller opposition parties, was engaged in talks on electoral system reform with the ruling party in frames of Election Code Working Group (ECWG) since November, 2010. The last meeting in frames of that format, facilitated by International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES), was held on March 9. Since then talks within ECWG have been suspended and judging from remarks from the both sides there seems to be little chances for resumption of that format at least for now.

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