Transparency International Georgia’s Letter to the Members of the European Parliament
The Executive Director of Transparency International Georgia, Eka Gigauri, addressed 750 Members of the European Parliament with a letter to notify them about the situation in Georgia after the ruling party backtracked on the promised constitutional reforms that would ensure the transition into a fully proportional system. The letter also presented the emergency joint statement of the NGOs in regards to these developments.
Dear friends and colleagues,
I am writing to you to alert you on the latest developments in Georgia, which is the lowest point in the democratic backsliding we were observing in the recent years, clearly undermines our way towards building a more pluralistic and representative democracy and adds on to the ongoing state capture by the informal governor of Georgia Mr. Ivanishvili.
Namely, the much promised and awaited change of the electoral system (moving to the fully proportionate one), which was achieved as a result of the mass street protests of youth this summer, has just been rejected by the ruling party in Parliament. They staged a process as if the current majoritarian MPs whose names were also among those submitting the changes to the Parliament (36), rebelled against the ruling party. In fact, we have no doubt that this was a staged process from the very beginning and that it is masterminded by the puppet-master, the chair of the ruling party, oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili.
The situation is developing and evolving every minute, we are expecting street protests, and we might be heading to a crisis which would result in snap elections as early as in Spring. This would pose significant difficulties for the opposition parties to mobilize parties and resources in such a short timespan.
So, in these turbulent times, our request towards you is to please, remain vigilant regarding the developments in Georgia. Please, do not to have any illusions and not be deceived by the claims from the ruling party representatives that this was a demonstration of internal party democracy, rather, this is a continuation of the process of the state capture by the oligarch Ivanishvili, who wishes to prolong his rule in Georgia through these pseudo-democratic processes.