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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Georgia plans to let prisoners vote during elections

Georgia plans to let prisoners vote during elections

Opposition 8 will not give up negotiations table

Compiled by Lisa Tonakanyan, Tuesday, April 12

The opposition 8 are persevering with their quest for election reform in Georgia and have cast doubt over Government plans allowing prisoners to vote.

“The authorities have proposed a plan to let prisoners vote during elections instead of changing the election environment. We have more than 20 000 prisoners in Georgia and if the authorities manage to make the desired amendments, the number of prisoners in the country will rise up to 40 000. And we know exactly for whom they will vote,” the leader of Conservative Party Zviad Dzidziguri told Kviris Palitra newspaper.

Dialogue between the eight opposition parties and the government on the enhancing of election environment issues has failed and public demonstrations have not been ruled out. As Zviad Dzidziguri says:

“Before starting negotiations, the authorities were saying that our opposition can only shout in the street but if they agree to negotiate with us and work on the legal bases then we are ready for changes. We accepted this offer and after five months of negotiations the National Movement says that the existing Election Code is the position we hold. At the same time they try to blame the opposition for terminating the negotiations.

The eight opposition parties will carry on the negotiations with the authorities. We will fight until the end for the improvement of the election environment and we expect our authorities to make real steps in this direction. The National Movement realizes that in the event of fair elections they will have to step down. That is why they are wasting time. The eight opposition parties had won the legal struggle and that made the National Movement go for demagogy.

We have presented the conclusions of international organizations and we demand such an arrangement of the mandates which allows having deputies in the parliament from all Georgian regions. However, not as it is today by having in the legislative organ representatives for each district populated with 3 or even hundred people.

The authorities gave no reply to either of our offers and Mikheil Saakashvili worked out a PR plan claiming that eight horrible parties wish to leave small districts without majority deputies. Unfortunately, the chairman of the parliament was involved in this demagogic PR even though in the beginning of the negotiations, Bakradze was the one who was talking about the necessity of making amendments to the Code. If the spokesman has forgotten his promises I do advise him to reread the old interviews he’d given.

Authorities could not show any document to answer our arguments except a single scrap of a paper which was to say that creating a biometrical list of voters in Georgia costs 200 millions. This was to make fun of us, a demonstration of non-qualification. We criticized the demonstrated by authorities figures in front of international experts.

I want to tell Saakashvili through your newspaper: Misha can’t be a president forever. Think about attending legal elections as it is in your interests. As I know Mr. Bakradze is going to stay in the parliament in the future, so it is for the best if he could honour his promises. He should not follow Saakashvili who has an uncertain political future.

“No one can change this regime without us,” Okruashvili says

The Georgian Party is preparing a deadly blow for Saakashvili, one of the leaders of the Georgian Party Irakli Okruashvili said in an interview with newspaper Kviris Palitra.

He says that structures of the party are being constructed. He says that the party follows the plan they had in the beginning. Okruashvili says that Georgian Party has enough “fuel” for the strong “political vehicle”.

Georgian society is ill, even more than in the beginning of 1990, one of the leaders of Georgian Party Irakli Okruashvili said in interview with paper Kviris Palitra.

Former Defence Minister disapproves of the Georgian civil society’s consciousness saying that way out of the situation is in the self-abnegation of the politicians.

“Increasing civil consciousness in people will take 20 years, meanwhile Misha will degenerate the whole nation. There is one solution, we politicians must give people examples of self-abnegation in expressing protest, we must convince them in our sincerity and only then will people wake up and restore their self-respect”, Okruashvii said.

One of the leaders of Georgian Party Irakli Okruashvili doesn’t like the opposition’s tactics in the negotiations over the electoral environment. Irakli Okruashvili says in interview to Kviris Palitra that the despair of people is on their conscience.

“The sad consequences following my blow on the government in 2007 was that all the weak politicians came to the surface and made business by means of improving the electoral environment or elections”, Okruashvili says.

Okruashvili mentioned leader of Free Democrats Irakli Alasania:

“Alasania was the only virgin in Georgian politics, with undoubtedly great expectations and huge resources of support. I would have wished him success in 2007, but he failed to comprehend how fast and cheap Misha took his purity from him”, Okruashvili says in interview.

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