Georgian opposition parties released a joint statement addressing President of the European Council Charles Michel, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Parliament David Maria Sassoli, and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
In the joint statement, the opposition parties express concern and frustration over the Georgian government’s refusal of the EU macro-financial assistance designated for the judicial reform implementation.
“This outright confrontational step is unprecedented in Georgian history and constitutes the latest in a cascade of events that aim to thwart Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic path, in complete disregard of our people’s firm historic choice. For decades, the Georgian people have fought consistently and tirelessly for Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration, and the European Union and NATO remain an obvious, unaltered choice for a significant majority – around 80% – of the Georgian people. Therefore, in every election, the Georgian people have always voted for parties who claim to commit to Europe and bring Georgia closer to the EU and NATO.
In the past year, the Georgian Dream government has gradually and consistently shown that their EU ambitions are merely a façade – a façade that is mostly aimed to deceive and lie to the Georgian people. Under this façade, we have witnessed full-pledged state capture by the informal system of governance – the last drop of which was the capture of the judiciary.
The events of July 5, when PM Garibashvili incited Russian and Georgian Dream-linked extremists to carry out mass violence against Tbilisi Pride, who later physically assaulted 53 journalists with one dying days later, was a landmark event in this context. The organized mass violence took place for many hours without any police resistance. Its key organizers have not been charged. After its initial commitment, Georgian Dream blatantly violating the April 19 Agreement’s terms, then unilaterally quitting it and rejecting MFA disbursement elevates this dangerous trajectory to yet another level.
While it is our task to resist this danger to Georgia’s European and Euro-Atlantic path and reverse it, the moment to apply legitimate leverage and influence to halt these dangerous developments is now. The commitments accepted by the Georgian government included the obligation to hold snap parliamentary elections if the ruling party fails to get 43 per cent in local elections this October. We believe that the Georgian public will deliver their political verdict in October, and it is our hope that Georgia’s partners in the EU and NATO will support the Georgian people’s democratic choice and demand to hold new elections as soon as possible. On our part, we will do everything to protect citizens’ votes in elections and keep Georgia committed to freedom, democracy, and rule of law.
We would like to thank you once again for your high-level efforts and dedication in keeping Georgian democracy alive, and we count on your strong political and moral support for ensuring free and fair elections the coming fall,” reads the statement.
The United National Movement (UNM), Girchi-More Freedom, European Georgia, Elene Khoshtaria Droa, Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Republican Party, Lelo for Georgia, Free Democrats, Christian Democrats, European Democrats, United Democratic Party, Movement State for the People, Civic Alliance for Freedom, Law and Order and Independent MP Tariel Nakaidze signed the joint statement.