Ruling Georgian Dream party chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili has released a statement condemning ‘all forms of violence’ undermining the electoral process and the quality of the country’s democracy.
Ivanishvili stated that three weeks before the October 31 parliamentary elections, ‘it is vitally important' for Georgia's democratic advancement 'to ensure a peaceful environment for electoral campaigning, without unwarranted aggression or commotion’.
It is a fact that radical opposition groups have turned violence into a common feature of their electoral campaigns. Lately, they have been frequently resorting to provocations; and, much to my regret, Georgian Dream’s supporters, among others, have also fallen for them. There is a threat that, as we draw closer to election day, violent flare-ups of this kind may increase”, Ivanishvili said.
He further noted that ‘when a conflict breaks out, it is hard to tell who is the instigator and who is the victim of a provocation’ especially for Georgia’s western partners observing elections ‘whose assessments of the electoral process are of extreme importance to the country’.
I would like to urge everyone to keep their composure, especially Georgian Dream’s supporters: do not fall for provocations, do not let radical groups compromise the electoral environment and tarnish the country’s international reputation”, the ruling party chairman said.
Bidzina Ivanishvili also added that ‘violence and stone throwing’ are the hallmarks of opposition: ‘that is how they came to power once, and that is how they want to cover up their own inauspiciousness and inevitable defeat in the upcoming elections’.
We have always rejected violence. And that is Georgian Dream’s hallmark, and that is what sets us apart from them. It is as clear as day that our positions are very strong at this point. Georgian Dream is going to achieve a convincing victory in these elections. Every poll confirms that, with unprecedented support from Georgian society, our forecast fluctuates between 54% and 60% of the votes, and even exceeds 63% in some cases”, he said.
In his written address Ivanishvili stressed importance of securing ‘a peaceful and fair environment for voting’ as well He further urged everyone, especially Georgian Dream supporters not to fall for provocations and instead maintain composure and keep emotions in check, ‘so that we may approach the elections in peace and, in the same vein, carry on for Georgia’s success in peace’.