GEO

Civil Society Organizations urge political parties to refrain from organizing counter-demonstrations

22 September, 2016

 

Monitoring of the pre-election period shows that as elections approach representatives of various political parties are engaging in destructive behavior against their opponents with increasing frequency. This behavior includes intentionally inflicting damage to election headquarters and campaign materials. These actions exacerbate the conflict between party activists, increase the risk of violence and have an overall negative impact on the pre-election environment.

Violence and confrontation between political party supporters is a major threat to a calm and healthy election environment. We believe that both the government and political parties must take steps to ensure that the election environment remains calm and healthy.

The September 14 recommendation issued by the Interagency Commission for Free and Fair Elections urges political parties / election subjects to refrain from attending the pre-election meetings of competing political parties and their candidates, as well as from organizing any counter-demonstrations, in order to the risks of verbal and physical confrontation on political basis.

In order to ensure the implementation of this recommendation, we call on the Interagency Commission and its member law enforcement agencies to promptly and thoroughly investigate alleged cases of pressure against political activists, and physical and verbal confrontation identified by monitoring organizations and to grant them appropriate legal classification.

We also call on all political parties to publicly condemn the provocative actions of their supporters.

We welcome the initiative of political parties to agree to take political responsibility not to allow or encourage and to distance themselves from any actions in their ranks that give rise to confrontation and violence.

 

Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia)

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)

Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)

Civil Development Agency (CiDA)