People are mobilized for a rally planned by the Georgian Dream on December 14 amid harassment of public servants
On December 14, the ruling party is planning to hold a large-scale rally in Tbilisi, as a party event. According to the party, the public gathering will wrap-up the celebratory week related to Georgia’s chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of theCouncil of Europe.
People are actively mobilized by the ruling party in nearly all municipalities of Georgia to attend the gathering. On the most part, local GD offices are coordinating the mobilization.
We have learned that in some municipalities, in addition to party coordinators, mayoral representatives in villages and members of Sakrebulos are actively involved in mobilization process. In particular, such facts were found in almost all municipalities of Kutaisi, Tskaltubo, Zugdidi, Poti, Khobi, Martvili, Ozurgeti, Chokhatauri, Kobuleti, Batumi, Khelvachauri, Akhaltsikhe, Gori, Khashuri and Kakheti. Municipality representatives are going door to door, visiting public schools, kindergartens and urging public school teachers and kindergarten employees, employees of non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities and legal entities of public law to attend the rally organized by the authorities. In some cases, people are ordered or requested to participate in the event. In addition, local self-government employees in some municipalities have been given a task to submit a list of 10 or 20 people who will be going to the rally, indicating their names, last names and personal numbers.
In addition to public servants and employees of non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities, individuals with the status of a socially vulnerable person in Zugdidi and Chokhatauri municipalities have been warned about going to the rally. In private conversations with ISFED representatives, they express their fear that unless they go to the rally, their social benefits will be canceled.
The signatory organizations urge the ruling party and high-level officials of local self-governments to stop all forms of harassment/coercion of public servants, municipal employees and socially vulnerable persons, in an attempt to force them to attend the rally. Additionally, they should draw a clear line between party events and activities of public service and local self-governments, and refrain from misleading citizens about the scheduled event.
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Transparency International Georgia (TI)
Georgian Democratic Initiative (GDI)
Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF)