PM declares moratorium on legal actions against political activists during election campaign

Irakli Garibahsvili called on the media to cover election campaign “objectively and without bias”., 14 Apr 2014 - 13:11, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister has issued a moratorium on legal proceedings against those involved in election campaigns to help ensure a free and fair election.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibahsvili called on the country’s law enforcement agencies not to detain or apply any other form of legal restrictions on activists or political figures involved in the upcoming local self-government election.

Garibahsvili said every political party should be able to carry out an election campaign without fear of being detained, and for that reason he declared a moratorium today.

"I want to call on the law enforcement agencies to maximally refrain in the pre-election period from enforcing legal restrictions of rights and detention of those persons who are actively engaged in the election campaign.

"[Detention] should only be used as a measure of last resort and only in cases when the need is clearly justified, urgent and necessity,” Garibahsvili said.

He claimed the local self-government elections should become "another demonstration that real changes have been implemented in Georgia and the country is governed by the democratizing political team, which is a guarantee of free and fair elections”.

Meanwhile, the PM called on the media to cover election campaign "objectively and without bias”.

He also called on the international and local election observer organisations to engage actively in monitoring of the election campaign and provide their recommendations, which the government "will of course take into consideration.”

"I believe that these elections, like the [2013] presidential election, will be exemplary and unprecedented not only for our country but for the entire region as well,” Garibashvili said.

A similar moratorium was declared during the presidential elections too and it was efficient, President Giorgi Margvelashvili said while commenting on the PM’s initiation regarding declaration of a moratorium on arresting the individuals that are engaged in the pre-election processes. 

"Continuation of the mentioned practice, which was cultivated last year, is reasonable,” Margvelashvili told journalists.