‘Partner countries do not set specific deadlines’
05 May, 2011
‘Partner countries do not set specific deadlines’

Majority just kills time; the Opposition-8 criticizes it…


Negotiations between the Opposition-8 and Majority about the new election system continue. It seems that the Majority members decided to be more serious in this matter after experiencing heavy Western pressure. However, in an attempt to procrastinate the process, they started to talk about the new deadline for reaching the agreement on the election system. Representatives of the majority stated that no one has set the end-of-May deadline to them and that the Authorities plan to adopt the new election code by autumn.
Still, the most interesting is how the Authorities intend to fulfill their obligations in response to the Western pressure and allow for the consensus on the improvement of the election environment to crystallize. The real talk about this topic can occur at the point when they start draft law preparations. Currently, the sides discuss only deadline-related questions.
It’s long time since the discussions started about the need to reach the agreement on the election-related issues by the end of May. This was agreed last November when the two sides elaborated the format and timetable for the joint work. By the way, both the participating opposition groups and Authorities signed these provisions.
The new election code was one of the main themes during the meeting of the opposition with Tina S. Kaidanow, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. After the meeting, Davit Gamkrelidze, leader of the New Rights, said that the United States expects the results of the negotiations before the end of May.
“We are really encouraged to see that the grouping of opposition parties was willing to sit down and talk to the ruling party to try sort out number of issues that really are important and matter in a pre-electoral season,” Kaidanow said.
According to the leader of the Republican Party of Georgia Davit Usupashvili, the position of the American delegation is that the elections in Georgia should be conducted fairly and transparently, which requires agreement between the opposition and the government.
In the wake of these developments the Authorities started to voice odd statements. They say that “partner countries do not set specific deadlines”.
“Our partners do not set such deadlines to us. This issue is completely up to the political parties. By our plan, the new elections code will be ready by autumn,” firmly announces Akaki Minashvili, representative of Parliamentary Majority.
The opposition however, believes that such statements on the part of the Authorities are clear attempts to defer the process. It is hard to tell how the negotiations would fare and most importantly, end but one thing is for certain. Namely, the Venice Commission recommended to finish everything at least one year prior to the elections to avoid unnecessary haste during the election preparatory phase.

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