Georgian Parliament Speaker Shalva Papuashvili on Sunday echoed the exclusion of the International Society for Fair Elections And Democracy (ISFED) from the first meeting of the electoral reforms working group aimed at developing the legislative changes necessary for EU candidate status.
The Speaker explained that the “ISFED was rejected from the working group meeting as it did not answer the main question, whether they still demand the Parliament to dismiss the government and appoint the so-called technical government.”
“ISFED was offered the opportunity to express its stance on the said matter, but did not do so,” the Speaker went on.
“It will be difficult to discuss constructive cooperation if they keep using the language of an ultimatum, urging the Parliament to dismiss the government and appoint the so-called technical government.”
ISFED should respond to the public, whether they are still giving or revoking the ultimatum. If they remove it, they can participate in the working group meetings”, Papuashvili said.
Earlier, the U.S. Embassy and EU Delegation to Georgia echoed the ruling team’s move not to invite ISFED to the first meeting of the electoral reforms working group.
The U.S. Embassy stressed, “civil society organizations serve as the voice of the people on a range of issues and play a vital role in ensuring that citizens’ needs, priorities, and preferences are addressed. ISFED’S exclusion raises questions about the sincerity of Parliament’s electoral reform process.”
According to the EU Delegation, “priority #10 [of the EC’s recommendations] on involvement of CSOs in decision-making processes is particularly relevant to ongoing work in Parliament.”