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Posted on: 15 Nov 2019

Address of Georgian Civil Society Organizations and Civic activists to the European Socialists Party (PES)

Dear President Stanishev,

Dear Secretary-General Post,

We, the undersigned representatives of the Georgian civil society organizations and civic activists, would like to address you at this important moment in the history of modern Georgia and urge you to take immediate and adequate actions responding to the grave challenges to the pluralistic and participatory democracy in the country, as a result of the actions of the ruling party Georgian Dream, a sister party to PES, which adds on to the ongoing state capture by the informal governor of Georgia and the chair of the party Mr. Ivanishvili.

The much promised and awaited change of the electoral system (transition to the fully proportionate one), which had been achieved as a result of the mass youth-led street protests during summer 2019, and which was a consensus request of all the opposition parties but also of the civil society for nearly a decade, was rejected by the ruling party in the Parliament on November 14. A process was staged, as if the current majoritarian MPs whose names were also among the initiators of the changes to the Parliament (36), rebelled against the proposed amendments. In fact, the public has no doubt that this was an artificially manipulated process from the very beginning and that it has been masterminded by the chair of the ruling party, oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, who has been a single-handed decision-maker in the Georgian Dream. This irresponsible step of the ruling party, pushes the political process out of parliament into the street, thereby jeopardizing public safety and stability in the country.

The situation is developing and evolving rather dynamically, people took it to the street, some of the ruling party representatives have also broken off from the party, and, if there is no immediate adequate reaction from the ruling party there is a serious risk of crisis deepening and the processes going out of control.

We believe that the actions taken by the ruling party are in conflict with the foundational values and principles of PES, but also are clearly against all five values of the moral compass for political action as stated in 2013 PES Fundamental Programme: ‘Freedom, democracy, equality, justice, and solidarity’, as this decision is clearly against the will of the people of Georgia and undermines the equal political playing field.

Having conveyed to you the information on the latest developments, but also the sentiments of the people of Georgia, we believe that the Party of European Socialists, which is probably the party closest to the ordinary people, is best placed to have a strong reaction to these actions by its sister party, which violates the principles of participatory democracy and is aimed at clinging to power against the will of people. We ask you to remain vigilant regarding the developments in Georgia, but also, not to have any illusions and be misled 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.

We remain at your disposal should you need any clarification or questions.


Transparency International Georgia
Georgian Democracy Initiative
Open Society Georgia Foundation
Georgia's Reforms Associates
Economic Policy Research Center
Society and Banks
Atlantic Council of Georgia
Georgian Farmers Association
Regional Center for Strategic Studies
Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies
Georgian Young Lawyers Association
Green Alternative
In depth reporting and Advocacy Center
Human Rights Canter
Civil Development Agency
Tolerance and Diversity Institute
Centre Empathy
Media Development Foundation
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
UN Association of Georgia
Institute for Development of Freedom of Information
World Experience for Georgia
Article 42 of the constitution
Equality Movement
Dusheti Development  Fund
Kutaisi Information Center
Public Monitoring and Research Center - Kharagauli
Liberty Institute
Media Development Fund
Economic Policy Research Center
Salome Barker - Civic activists
Mariam Bajelidze - Civic activist
Giorgi Mzhavanadze - Civic activist
Zuka Berdzenishvili - Civic activist
Shota Dighmelashvili - Civic activist
Giga Makarashvili - Civic activist
Tatusha Arveladze - Civic activist
Mariam Geguchadze - Civic activist
Nodar Rukhadze - Civic activist
Sopo Kuchava - Civic activist
Lexo Machavariani - Civic activist
Jaba Zarkua - Civic activist
Giorgi Noniashvili - Civic activist
Zaza Abashidze - Civic activist
Mariam Dolidze - Civic activist
Tamar Kuratishvili - Civic activist
Giorgi Gabriadze - Civic activist
Ana Charkhalashvili - Civic activist
Gegi Salukvadze - Civic activist