Statement on Consultations with the Legal Issues Committee of Parliament
We, the members of the ‘This Affects You Too’ campaign, welcome the agreement reached between non-governmental organizations and the Legal Issues Committee of the Parliament of Georgia. We praise the willingness of the Parliament to take into account proposals from the civil sector regarding improvement of Georgia’s electoral legislation. According to the agreement:
- The concept of a person directly/indirectly related to a political party will be removed from the law;
- The Chamber of Control will not have a right to impose restrictions on a person simply due to that person’s expression of political opinions;
- The scope of persons subject to the same restrictions imposed on political parties will be reduced and strictly defined;
- Voters will not be subject to criminal proceedings if they request some benefit from a party;
- Individuals’ business activities will not be subject to any restrictions unless they directly serve electoral goals;
- The Chamber of Control will not have the right to seize property unless it is the subject of a dispute and there is an adequate court ruling in place;
- The number of sanctions and penalties will be reduced;
- The election registration of political parties will not be cancelled due to their violation of the Law on Political Unions of Citizens.
We hope that the amendments to the legislation will fully reflect the agreement reached, and that cooperation with civil society for the improvement of Georgia’s electoral environment and legislation will further continue.
The adequate enforcement of the law is also important, to make sure that the Chamber of Control operates within a strictly regulated framework and to prevent any chance of violation of the law and abuse of power.
The members of ‘This Affects You Too’ believe that the agreement has been reached thanks to joint efforts by the non-governmental sector, media, and citizens, as well as international support.
We think that this successful first step must be followed by continued efforts from civil society in order to create a free and fair electoral environment in Georgia.