Four opposition parties which overcame the 1% mandatory threshold in the October 31 parliamentary elections - European Georgia, Girchi, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Lelo for Georgia - have issued a joint statement earlier today confirming they will continue their ‘peaceful protest against the rigged elections’.
The parties agreed:
The joint statement reads that the ‘dispersal of peaceful demonstrators with water cannons’ in front of the Central Election Commission as well as the 'illegal detention of civic activists’ demonstrate ‘a dangerous reaction of this illegitimate regime’ on the ‘peaceful political and civic protest’.
European Georgia leader Davit Bakradze made the announcement after the meeting with the three other parties. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Stressing that they continue ‘peaceful protest’ the opposition parties again demand:
In their statement, the parties call on the interior ministry to keep their forces away from demonstrators; they also call on the demonstrators to avoid any physical confrontation with police.
We are ready for a long and a peaceful protest. The strength of our protest is in peaceful activities”, the joint statement reads.
It further notes that the next protest will be held on November 14 in Tbilisi, followed by a livechain on the run off day on November 21.
Opposition politicians claim that the recent parliamentary elections were rigged in favour of the ruling party. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
The joint statement was preceded by the United National Movement (UNM) leader Grigol Vashadze’s appeal to other opposition parties to sit at a negotiation table with the ruling Georgian Dream party to resolve election-related complications.
Although the UNM members did not attend the gathering, its member Zaal Udumashvili said the party is sharing the spirit of the four other parties on the peaceful continuation of the protest.
Noting that opposition is united, Udumashvili claimed they will not accept the election results ‘written by’ ruling party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili. “None of us are going to enter the parliament, therefore, the dream of the Georgian Dream will not be fulfilled”, Udumashvili said.
Meanwhile, calling on opposition parties to prepare for the second round of majoritarian elections, the ruling party leaders say the acceptance of October 31 election results is the precondition for holding negotiations with the opposition.