In a new wave of evictions, internally displaced persons (IDPs) were forced to vacate four temporary shelters in Tbilisi on July 18, following previous rounds of evictions in August 2010 and January 2011. A majority of these IDPs were old caseload from Abkhazia displaced during the early 1990’s conflict. They were privately accommodated in Tbilisi before moving to the aforementioned shelters after the 2008 war. TI Georgia staff visited three of the four eviction sites, to monitor the process and understand the details.
In an earlier blog post, we raised concerns about the systematic practice of 'ghost voting' within the Georgian Parliament. Our report quickly caught the media’s attention and prompted several TV reports and news articles, in one of which an MP who was depicted in our earlier video evidence of ghost voting admitted to the violation.
Since November 2010 the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA), Transparency International – Georgia, the New Generation – New Initiative (nGnI) and the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) have been actively observing the process of negotiations for improvement of election environment, supported by the International Foundation for Election Systems (IFES).
On July 12, 2011 four local non-governmental organizations "Green Alternative", Georgian Young Lawyers' Association, Transparency International Georgia and Regional Media Association of Georgia presented the report "Problems related to the Property Rights Protection – The case of Mestia".
Throughout much of Eastern Europe, lustration laws have been enacted to strengthen national security and prevent ex-Soviet operatives and informants from holding public posts. The Georgian Parliament has recently followed the trend, drafting and passing its own equivalent of such a law in May 2011, albeit in a poor manner.
On June 27, 2011, five political parties signed the agreement proposed by the governing party. The document describes a proposal for improving election legislation.
The Right to Assembly and Manifestations: The Differing Positions of the Constitutional Court and the Parliamentary Majority
On June 13, 2011 ruling party MPs Pavle Kublashvili, Akaki Minashvili, Chiora Taktakishvili and Koka Anjaparidze initiated amendment to the law on assembly and manifestations . According to the explanatory note, the purpose of the amendments is to implement the recent decision of the Constitutional Court and to take into consideration the Guidelines on Freedom of Peaceful Assembly prepared by the Venice Commission. However, this aim is only partially fulfilled.
The recent agreement between the ruling party and several opposition parties on election system changes includes, among other things, raising the number of MPs from the current 150 to 190. This would of course require constitutional changes which the ruling party, with its constitutional majority in the current Parliament, can achieve without any outside help. But it looks like it might be up to the voters to decide this particular case through a referendum.