European Georgia Not to Attend United Opposition’s Rally

Davit Bakradze of the European Georgia party said his party shares the UNM-led coalition’s calls for early parliamentary elections, but will not join their demonstration on December 2.

Speaking at a special briefing on November 30, Bakradze said: “concerns that the elections were rigged and there has to be a protest within the confines of the law are understandable and legitimate, but European Georgia believes that the main road of political struggle lies through political reforms rather than street rallies.”

“The runoff results cannot be considered as a reflection of voters’ free will, and this was confirmed by extremely critical conclusions of local and international observers,” Bakradze noted, calling the level of criticism in international assessments “unprecedented.”

“Our assessments are fully in line with those of international observers. Unfortunately, Georgia has an incumbent president, who has no democratic mandate obtained through free and fair elections,” he said.

Bakradze then noted that “there no longer is the need for revolutions and barricades” in order to change the government. “Our people are ready to change the government through elections, peacefully and consciously, just like in developed, western democracies,” he noted.

Bakradze then stressed the need for changing the electoral system to proportional or regional-proportional representation followed by early parliamentary elections.

He also called for changing the composition of election administrations, establishing an independent prosecutor’s office and an audit office, whose heads will be named by the opposition and civil society groups.

The opposition coalition announced the rally on November 29, a day after its candidate Grigol Vashadze lost the presidential race to the ruling party-backed candidate Salome Zurabishvili. Vashadze did not accept the election results, citing mass fraud, and calls for holding early parliamentary polls.

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