Ivanishvili Speaks of Pre-Election Violence, Blames Opposition

The ruling Georgian Dream party released on October 8 a statement by the Chairperson and former PM Bidzina Ivanishvili, who condemned the pre-election period violence, albeit blaming it on the opposition.  

Ivanishvili acknowledged his own party supporters’ “unfortunate” contributions to the violent incidents, but portrayed them as victims of provocations by “radical opposition groups,” who “made violence an accompanying feature of the pre-election campaigns.”

The ruling party leader argued that as the elections draw nearer, there is a risk of violent confrontations becoming more frequent, urging the GD supporters not to be “yield to provocations and allow radical groups damage the country’s image.” 

GD Chairperson underscored the need to conduct the election campaign in a peaceful environment, without aggression, taking into account the importance of the October 31 parliamentary elections for the democratic development of the country. 

Ivanishvili then reckoned that it is “especially hard” for Georgia’s western partners and election observers to differentiate between the initiators of violence and the “victims of provocation.”

Georgian Dream leader also asserted that GD is enjoying “unprecedented popular support,” ranging from 54% to 60%, at times even more than 63%, according to surveys conducted by the party.   

Brawls between Georgian Dream and United National movement activists were in the public eye on September 27 and 29, in the southern regions of Bolnisi and Marneuli, followed by Police detaining a UNM activist and a party member, as well as a Georgian Dream activist.

Follow our Election Live Blog for more updates on the upcoming October 31 parliamentary elections.

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