The ruling Georgian Dream party and opposition politicians have held a second round of negotiations at the United States Ambassador Kelly Degnan’s residence earlier today.
Lelo for Georgia party leader Badri Japaridze told journalists after the meeting that the participants have agreed not to speak about the details of the meeting, however, he said ‘no significant progress has been achieved’ in this 'difficult process’.
We are ready for the constructive dialogue; the opposition is united, the approach of the opposition has not changed”, Japaridze said stressing that the current political deadlock needs repeat parliamentary elections.
Japaridze said although the Georgian Dream has a different opinion, they agreed to continue the negotiations.
Opposition politicians claim that the recent parliamentary elections were rigged in favour of the ruling party. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Welcoming the negotiations, parliament speaker Archil Talakvadze said they are trying their best to ensure that ‘the democracy and the political system’ of Georgia continues functioning in a stable manner.
We have no expectations that the dialogue among the political parties will end in this format, but we are ready to continue this dialogue in the tenth convocation of parliament”, Talakvadze told journalists.
He further added that it is in the country’s interest to ensure political stability through the political cooperation among the parties.
Talakvadze said the door for negotiations remains open and public will receive further details as soon as the parties manage to reach an agreement.
Claiming they will not stop protesting, opposition representatives are holding a large-scale rally in Tbilisi today to remind the ruling party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili ‘that the opposition will not accept election results’. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Meanwhile, leader of Strategy Aghmashenebeli Giorgi Vashadze said that with its yesterday’s decision (to finalise election protocols and declare the official date of majoritarian run offs) the Central Election Commission (CEC) has closed an opportunity for vote-recounting which has been among the suggestions of the Georgian Dream.
Vashadze stated as well that at the next round of negotiations the opposition parties expect to set a certain date for the repeat elections. Otherwise, he said, they see no sense in discussing any other issues.
Nine parties have overcome the 1% threshold for the 120 seats in the150-member parliament per the proportional electoral system on October 31, including the Georgian Dream, United National Movement, European Georgia, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Lelo for Georgia, Alliance of Patriots, Girchi, Citizens and Labour Party.
In the parliamentary elections on October 31 the Georgian Dream party received 48.22% of votes, followed by UNM - with 27.18%. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda.ge
Meanwhile, on November 21 the second round of parliamentary elections will be held in 17 out of the total of 30 constituencies where the majoritarian candidates could not manage to overcome a 50% threshold.
Claiming that the elections have been rigged, opposition parties demand repeat elections, the dismissal of the CEC head Tamar Zhvania and the recomposition of the election administration. Opposition thus continues ‘peaceful protest’ until their demands are met.
The ruling party however disagrees. Calling on the opposition to accept the election results and take up their parliamentary mandates, the Georgian Dream claims the elections were conducted ‘in full line with democratic standards’.