Sandra Roelofs will not take part in second round
National Movement majoritarian candidate in Zugdidi will not take part in the second round of elections. As Sanda Roelofs said, participation in the second round of the unfair elections is insulting. She thanked to voters for their votes and said that votes were stolen not only on 8 of October but 22 of October as well.
“Everyone knows that I won the first round, so it's insulting for me to take part in the second round of this unfair election. I think I should not take part in the second round. First of all, very bad, criminal, pressing conditions are created in Zugdidi and do not want these people to have more problems. I know that I am the winner,"- she stated.
WORKING MEETING OF MEMBERS OF OPPOSITION PARTIES WITH CIVIL SECTOR
According to the administration of the Parliament of Georgia, members of the faction "National Movement - Strength is in Unity" and political groups "Lelo - Partnership for Georgia" and "Reforms Group", as well as independent MPs, held a working meeting with representatives of non-governmental organizations regarding EC’s 12 recommendations.
The parties discussed the legislative measures required for the execution of the aforementioned suggestions and gave their perspectives on each one.
"We began the implementation phase of EC’s recommendations in close collaboration with the civil sector. In all twelve directions, we summarized the current state of affairs. We talked about 4-5 themes that are being created as legislative initiatives as well as 7-8 specific draft laws. It was discovered that extra meetings are required in a number of sectors. We continue to believe that in order to accomplish this crucial phase, Georgia's forces must be united as a whole. There are a couple of issues that we have also identified where we might back a political product developed with input from members of the ruling team. The most important thing is that we begin the autumn session with serious thoughts and ideas related to this specific issue. The government's ideas and problems are welcome for discussion. Because Europe anticipates us to have solidified and agreed-upon positions, we are prone to seeking consensus", - David Usupashvili, Chairman of the political group "Lelo - Partnership for Georgia” stated.
"The work procedure is actually coming to a close. Only four topics — justice, de-oligarchization, electoral reforms, and media-related issues — will be the subject of additional civil sector perspectives next week. The final text will therefore be made available to the public following the gathering of these four working groups. By the middle of September, we anticipate submitting those legislative packages to the Parliament that have not yet been registered", - Giorgi Vashadze, a member of the political group "Reforms Group" stated.
He also thanked his opposition colleagues and representatives of the civil sector for their active cooperation in the working groups and noted that this is exactly the process that Georgia needs to get the status of the European Union.
"We will uphold a document that we can call - "Mechanism for rapid accession to EU candidate status". This will be a document that we will sign with its legislative amendments", - Giorgi Vashadze added.
Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigns
Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia has resigned. He made his resignation statement at a special briefing at the government administration.
Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia resigned citing disagreement with his party colleagues over the detention of Nika Melia, leader of UNM. This follows the Tbilisi City Court’s decision to send United National Movement’s Nika Melia, Chairperson of the largest opposition party, to pretrial detention.
“Unfortunately, I could not reach a common understanding on this matter with my team and decided to resign. I want to hope, that this step would contribute to reduced polarisation in our political space, since I believe that polarization and confrontation pose the greatest risks to our country’s future and economic development,” G. Gakharia stated.
G. Gakharia’s statement said that while Melia had “never respected the law” and called “for the storming of the Parliament” on June 20, the decision to detain him poses unacceptable risks, and unduly complicates the task of economic recovery and the management of pandemic.
Opposition Reject Election Results, Hit the Streets
Georgia’s major opposition parties, including the United National Movement of ex-President Saakashvili, European Georgia, Lelo, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Labor Party, hit the streets on Sunday afternoon, rejecting the preliminary results of the October 31 parliamentary vote, that forecast the Georgian Dream to form a third consecutive government.
The opposition claims the Georgian Dream “usurped power,” and rigged the elections, citing, among others, discrepancies in a number of final vote tallies. The key local election watchdogs said they identified the discrepancies in some 7 or 8% of the summary protocols. The opposition politicians argue the united opposition forces garnered more votes in total than the incumbent ruling party.
Protesting the “stolen elections,” the opposition leaders and protesters are rallying towards the hilltop residence of GD leader Bidzina Ivanishvili, after blocking Rustaveli Avenue, the main thoroughfare of the Georgian capital, outside the Parliament.
In the meantime, Gigi Ugulava of the European Georgia party, announced the opposition parties will organize a large-scale rally on November 8.
Georgia held Saturday’s parliamentary vote under a significantly modified system, which changed the composition of 150-member parliament to 120 MPs elected through proportional, party-lists, and 30 elected as majoritarians (from 77/73 ratio) and set threshold at 1% of votes. According to the results of 98.86% precincts counted, Georgian Dream garnered 48,1% of proportional votes, while the United National Movement-led Strength in Unity bloc came second with 27.12%. European Georgia scored third with 3.77%.
Preliminary results also show GD victory in 13 single-mandate constituencies, while runoffs are expected in 17 districts, including in all 8 districts of the capital city of Tbilisi.
MP Irma Inashvili, leader of Kremlin-friendly Alliance of Patriots party, that is at odds with UNM and other opposition parties, also announced that today her party rejects the results, vowing to hold separate rallies.
Sofio Katsarava, Tamar Khulordava and the Ambassadors visited the Tech Park
The Chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Sofio Katsarava and the Chair of the Committee on European Integration, Tamar Khulordava along with the Ambassadors of Estonia, Sweden, Lithuania and Latvia visited the Tech Park.
According to Ms. Katsarava, Tech Park, as the Centre for Innovations and Technologies of Georgia, allows establishment of new technologies as on local so on global markets and is competitive. “I had the greatest desire to introduce our innovative project to the Ambassadors, which was established in capacity of Tech Park in Georgia. It is an effective platform for realization of creative ideas, which is important for stimulation and motivation of our new generations. We also considered the visit of the Chairmen of the Parliaments of NB8 states scheduled in spring in Georgia”.
According to her, Tech Park is as well now operating in Zugdidi and will be further extended.
The sitting of the Bureau
The Bureau discussed the agenda of extraordinary sessions including the drafts for accelerated consideration and the new legislative initiatives. The draft statement by Minority Factions: “UNM”, “National Movement-for Georgia’s Progress” on “Grave Humanitarian State in Aleppo” entailed discord.
According to the Deputy Chairperson, Irma Inashvili, the statement is provocative and adoption would not be expedient for the country.
As the Deputy Chairman, Giorgi Volski stated, it is artificially raised issue entailing useless debates. “We joined all the resolutions made by the international society concerning this issue, we even participated in elaboration of the position. We join the positions of the civilized world and now adoption of this statement would be inexpedient”.
According to the Chair of the Procedural Issues and Rules Committee, Giorgi Kakhiani, the Bureau shall discuss whether to consider the document in ordinary or accelerated manner and the context will be discussed upon consideration. The Bureau decided on ordinary consideration.
The Bureau considered the application of MPs setting up new Factions in Majority on secession from the Faction Georgian Dream, and the conclusion of the Procedural Committee on set up of the new Factions: “Georgian Dream-Conservatives”, “Georgian Dream-Social-Democrats”, and “Georgian Dream-for Development of Regions”.
The next Bureau will be held on December 28 at 11:30 followed with the plenary session at 12:00.