Georgian Dream opposition coalition, led by Bidzina Ivanishvili, announced on August 6 about joining political parties’ seventeen-point rule of conduct, offered by a group of election observer and media organizations This Affects You Too last month.
“The Georgian Dream coalition reiterates its commitment to major principles of free and fair elections, including towards inadmissibility of violent and unconstitutional actions in the process of determining election results and in the process of electoral campaign,” the coalition said in a statement on August 6. “Pursuant to this spirit, the coalition has unconditionally joined 17-point document offered by the civil society on July 16.”
The ruling party, United National Movement (UNM), has also joined the 17-point declaration, but in addition it has also offered to combine these principles with four-point declaration offered by UNM on July 14, which contains a provision committing parties to recognizing “election results summarized by the Central Election Commission and deemed legitimate by observer organizations with credible reputation.”
This point has turned into a major source of controversy with the ruling party prioritizing this provision, while the Georgian Dream coalition showing reluctance to accept it. The Georgian Dream has instead put forth a different wording offering parties to take commitment to resolve “all the disputed issues about election results solely through peaceful and constitutional way.” As a result, although both the Georgian Dream and UNM have agreed to accept seventeen-point declaration, offered by This Affects You Too, there is not yet a single document undersigned by the two major political forces.
Another point which UNM also prioritizes and which is not part of the 17-point declaration is a commitment not to use hate speech. The Georgian Dream said on July 23 that it was ready to consider inclusion of additional points including the one about non-use of hate speech.
In its statement on August 6 the Georgian Dream, citing an incident in Adjara’s mountainous resort of Beshumi on August 4, accused the ruling party of violating principles outlined in the seventeen-point declaration.