Proposals from This Affects You Too regarding the agreement between political parties - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Proposals from This Affects You Too regarding the agreement between political parties

30 August, 2012

Several political parties have expressed their readiness to come to an agreement over the code of conduct for political parties worked out within the This Affects You Too campaign, which is essential for conducting the election processes in a calm, just, and competitive environment.

The ruling party has expressed its readiness to endorse the code of conduct worked out by the This Affects You Too campaign, provided several issues reflected in the principles proposed by the ruling party are added to it. The opposition parties, on the other hand, have indicated their readiness to approve the text proposed by the ruling party, under the condition that the final code of conduct fully reflects the proposals prepared within the scope of the This Affects You Too campaign.

Given that all key political actors have essentially expressed their readiness to agree to the document, but the document cannot yet be signed due to formalistic disagreements, we consider it necessary to supplement our text with additional paragraphs and then table it to the parties for signature.

Hereupon, we do not preclude the possibility that the text, on request of the parties concerned, may undergo modifications and changes. It is important, however, that the process of reaching a final agreement be started without delay.

The Agreement between Political Parties

We, the signatory parties to the present declaration, recognize the crucial importance of a free, just, equal, and peaceful election processes for ensuring the legitimacy of the parliamentary elections planned for 1 October, 2012, as well as the country’s further democratic development.

Signing the present declaration, we openly state that we shall undertake to uphold the following principles in the best possible way to ensure that the pre-election campaign is conducted in a fair and competitive environment:

We, the signatory political parties, shall:

• prevent aggressive and destructive activities from being exercised or encouraged by our supporters, and ensure that our activists conduct the campaign in conformity with political ethics and carry out adequate measures against transgressors;

• reject violence during the election campaign as well as obstruction to another party’s campaign and actions, including through mobilizing our own activists and planning parallel actions; avoid aggression during meetings and communication with the electorate; forbid appeals to violence and use of hate speech, especially in regards to minorities;

• ensure advance notification of the public and relevant services regarding our planned party events;

• prevent interference into the activities of observer organizations and attempts to discredit them;

• refrain from bribing voters and adhere to all pertinent requirements established by the election legislation;

• refrain from abuse of administrative resources, including budget resources, through the use of persons employed in the public service or the authority concentrated in state agencies;

• support the promotion of high political culture as well as place ultimate emphasis on thematic debates on political issues, and by so doing give voters the possibility to make an informed choice;

• forbid encouragement of violence and aggression on Election Day, including through preliminary mobilization of supporters, which can bring about riots and destabilization on Election day;

• ensure equal working conditions for all media outlets to cover our own party events; prevent exercising pressure on journalists as well as impeding their activities;

• avoid abusing media outlets for the campaigning purposes or to misinform citizens; help to defuse tensions and confrontations between media outlets.

We, the signatory government agencies, shall:

• act only in accordance with the requirements of the law and in full compliance with political neutrality;

• ensure equal and fair treatment to all political subjects;

• avoid selective justice or discriminatory approaches to different political subjects;

• prevent any attempts to disrupt journalists’ activities; ensure equal working conditions for all registered media representatives in state and local self-government bodies as well as at public events;

• ensure in all possible and legitimate ways public access to a variety of information sources, which also implies unrestricted provision of TV channels on Election Day as well as in the subsequent period.

The State Audit Office shall:

• ensure the implementation of its functions under the legislation in such a manner as to prevent discriminatory restrictions on the financial activities of separate political parties;

• along with other investigatory bodies, put greater emphasis on the prevention of violations rather than on punishing offenders;

• encourage political parties to implement the law, including through preliminary consultations especially in terms of receiving funding;

We publicly declare that we will recognize the results of the elections held in conformity with the above terms, summarized in line with the procedures established by the legislation and deemed legitimate by observer organizations with credible reputation.