Statement from Giorgi Gakharia’s “For Georgia” Party:
“The situation today, that Georgia has been separated from the “Associated Trio“, is the sole responsibility of the Georgian Dream party!
“We should all thank Bidzina Ivanishvili, Irakli Kobakhidze, Irakli Garibashvili, Kakha Kaladze, and the rest of GD for the situation in which Georgia, previously front-runner of the Associated Trio, is now perceived by the EU as a country not fit for membership candidate status! This is your sole responsibility and you cannot escape it; the Georgian people and the country will not allow you!
“On many occasions, we have warned GD to acknowledge the problems and take responsibility for the implementation of the fundamental reforms. Despite this, GD was ready to pay any price for retaining the power and as a result, you gave the choice to Georgian citizens – Ivanishvili or European Union.
“Despite all, the European aspirations of the Georgian people brought results – the EU has not left Georgia and the Georgian people and gave us chance until 2022 to return to European values.
“GD does not have any more trust. In order to regain the trust of citizens and the European Union, first of all, GD should acknowledge the problems and start solving them! If you really want to preserve the European perspective, you should immediately admit that the Oligarch is ruling the country and therefore deoligarchization is needed. GD should admit that all problems mentioned in the decision of the European Commission actually exist.
“After you admit the problems, immediately, before June 24, take responsibility to implement reforms that will correspond to the requirements set by the Commission and accordingly will ensure the Holding of free and fair 2024 elections, real power-sharing, effective parliamentary oversight, an independent judiciary, restoring constitutional order in the country thus supporting the deoligarchisation of Georgia, prevention of authoritarianism and democratic development of the country.
“We will present a specific plan and urge GD to immediately start implementation of the present plan, to ensure that Georgia manages to rejoin Associated Trio by the end of 2022!”
European Perspective For Georgia – plan
“We urge the Government to immediately start the implementation of the plan elaborated by us, which will directly respond to the requirements set in the document issued by the European Commission on June 17, 2022, and will save the EU perspective of Georgia
Establishmentof a dedicated state institution, which will ensure coordination of the EU integration process, including activities of the state institutions (Parliament, President, Government) as well as the relevant CSOs.
Creation of legal framework, to ensure the election of Prosecutor General, Head of State Security Service, Head of Special Investigation Service, Chairperson, and members of Central Election Commission, Supreme Court judges based on consensus between the ruling party and the opposition – by 2/3 of a total number of members of the Parliament, instead of election by the majority of MPs.
Introduce relevant legal and practical changes to ensure effective parliamentary control over law-enforcement and security sectors.
Independent anti-corruption service accountable to the Parliament to be established. The head of the service is to be elected for the specified period (not matching the parliamentary election cycle) with the consensus between the ruling party and the opposition with 2/3 of the total number of MPs. The function of investigation of corruption-related crimes should be removed from the State Security Service, General Prosecutor, and Ministry of Justice, and investigation of all types of such crime, including elite corruption, vote-buying, and election-related corruption crimes should be assigned to the independent anticorruption service.
Start working on the enhancement of the economic governance framework, which involves the creation of a fair economic environment and equal opportunities for the citizens and businesses. Develop a medium-term framework of economic reforms, which will be in line with EU financial support priorities and aimed at solving structural problems, including high unemployment, low FDI and competitiveness, insufficient decentralization, and ineffective social and healthcare policy.
Political pluralism to be ensured in election commissions, including in district and precinct election commissions.
Real power-sharing in the Parliament to be ensured between the ruling party and the opposition – in particular, the role of the opposition to be strengthened in the Foreign Relations Committee, Committee on European Integration, Legal Issues Committee, Procedural Issues, and Rules Committee.
Immediately make a statement on launching fundamental reform of the justice system – Judiciary, Prosecutor’s Office, and the Police. The practice shows that years of reforms of the justice system were finally used by the ruling party to enhance its own power. Therefore, fundamental reforms in this direction will not be legitimate enough before the restoration of the constitutional system in the country. However, it is important to at least start the reform process today and express political willingness.
1. Fundamental reform of the court system, which aims at the transformation of the logic of influence deeply rooted in the system for years, eradication of the „influence group“, instead of further improvement of the legislation alone. Based on a wide consensus, prepare legal amendments regarding the High Council of Justice (HCOJ), which currently serves as an instrument in the hands of an „influence group“. Before the fundamental reform, to create an alternative power center and restrict the power of „influence groups“ in the HCOJ, immediately take steps: 1) Parliament to immediately elect 5 non-judge members of the Council; 2) Parliament to immediately approve legal amendments, envisaging election/appointment of judges with so-called „double 2/3“ (2/3 of judge and non-judge members of the Council).
2. Fundamental reform of the General Prosecutor’s Office, with the main aim to eliminate the „influence group“ in the Prosecutorial Council. This will reduce the risks of the appointment of the prosecutors loyal to the ruling party. With adequate public engagement, elaborate legal amendments aimed at the creation of effective guarantees for the independence of individual prosecutors.
3. Fundamental reform of the police, which will be aimed at introducing the concept of independent police – Investigative and other police functions to be separated and the head of police no longer be a political appointee, he/she will be elected by the Parliament based on political consensus between the parties with 2/3 of the total number of MPs
“Implementation of the mentioned action plan will ensure free and fair elections, including free of corruption and systemic violations; restore constitutional ruling; ensure functional power-sharing, an independent justice system, eradication of corruption (including elite corruption), improvement of the social-economic environment, functional protection of human rights and ultimately deoligarchisation of the country, prevention of authoritarianism and saving democracy.
“We are ready to start a joint work on the implementation of this plan in any format, which will be a direct answer to decrease polarization as requested by the Commission.
“Otherwise, we will consider that the current Government and GD does not express the historic will of the Georgian people about the European future and Georgian citizens will have the legitimate right to launch a national movement for saving Georgia’s European future,” Gakharia’s party writes.