ISFED hosted a discussion between ruling and opposition parties
On December 9, on the sidelines of the EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) hosted a closed door discussion with participation of members of the European Parliament and politicians from the ruling and the opposition parties. The discussion, titled “Prospects of Georgian Democracy and 2020 Elections in Georgia,” was the first of such kind since the diplomatic corps initiated a dialogue between the ruling and the opposition parties. The event aimed at facilitating constructive engagement between the opposing sides and at offering them a platform for discussing possible solutions for the existing political deadlock.
“Failure to fulfill the promise of moving to fully proportional electoral system has pushed the political process to a deadlock. To address the situation and restore trust among political actors, it is important for both - the ruling and the opposition parties - to continue discussions and find ways for improving the election system. We welcome that political party representatives will be seeking solutions out of the ongoing crisis in the presence of our European partners. To guarantee that there is a level playing field for the 2020 Parliamentary elections, political parties should reach an agreement on the electoral system and the authorities need to stand ready for respective changes,” said ISFED’s Executive Director Mikheil Benidze.
The meeting gathered a wide array of participants, including representatives of diplomatic corps and civil society organizations. The EU Ambassador to Georgia, Mr. Carl Hartzell delivered opening remarks at the event, followed by keynote addresses of the Co-Chair of EURONEST Parliamentary Assembly, MEP Andrius Kubilius (EPP, Lithuania) and MEP Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D, Spain). The speeches were followed by statements of Georgian politicians, including Irakli Kobakhidze (Georgian Dream), Grigol Vashadze (United National Movement), Sergi Kapanadze (European Georgia), Eka Beselia (For Justice) and Davit Usupashvili (Development Movement). The discussion ended with a Q&A session.
The event was held with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).