Georgian opposition parties, who came to an agreement with the ruling Georgian Dream party on March 8 on how to hold the 2020 elections, will resume discussions later today on how to make the government ‘fully abide with the agreement’ and ‘release imprisoned opposition leaders’.
The opposition says that the government has fulfilled only part of the agreement which concerns the model which will be used for the upcoming parliamentary elections, while the ruling party refuses to release Gigi Ugulava, Irakli Okruashvili and Giorgi Rurua ‘per the agreement.’
Georgian Parliament Speaker Archil Talakvadze urged foreign ambassadors on Monday, who mediated election talks between the ruling party and the opposition, to confirm that the Georgian Dream ruling party made no such ‘illegal and undemocratic’ promise.
Talakvadze says that Ugulava, Oktruashvili and Rurua committed crimes and the independent judiciary branch sentenced them to time in prison.
The ambassadors released a joint statement yesterday in which they said that the March 8 agreement was a ‘historic achievement by the political forces of Georgia’, intended to depolarise Georgia’s political system and create a better environment for the October parliamentary elections following the failure of promised constitutional amendments to move to fully proportional parliamentary elections in 2020.
As facilitators to the dialogue, we assisted in creating a forum to build trust and allow for participants to make difficult compromises. It is not our role to make the content of those discussions public or to interpret the agreement, said the statement.
The ambassadors stated that the resulting agreement is well-known to the public and it was welcomed by Georgians and the international community alike.
We note that this agreement is composed of two parts — one focused on the election system and the other on addressing the appearance of political interference in the judicial system. We call upon all sides to uphold the letter and spirit of both parts of the agreement with a view to its successful implementation,” the statement said.
A member of the European Georgia opposition party, Sergi Kapanadze, says that opposition parties need to come up with a strategy on how to act if the government continues not to fully abide by the agreement.
He says that the response of the international community to the ruling party is ‘very clear.’