Pre election consensus: is it possible?
By Messenger Staff
Monday, July 23Recently, the political parties getting ready for the forthcoming elections are pre occupied with discussing the so called pre election code of conduct with the parties. It was initiated by the ruling power United National Movement, which invites other political parties to sign the document.some opposition parties like New Rights, National Democrats and Christian Democrats principally agree with signing the document, others are reluctant in particular the strongest and most important Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream. Some analysts also are rather skeptical towards signing the document.
National Movement initiated four point agreement. The first condemns the violence, second bribary of the voters, third use of administrative resources and forth point demands from the signatories to accept the results of elections as they are considered fair according to some respected international bodies. Those who challenged this document have single arguments. First two items fall under the legislation and both are criminal acts, violation and bribery. Access to administrative resources has only ruling power. So these three can be regulated without signing the documents. As for the forth point the opposition doubts who is considered reliable and respected international body and reminds to the opponents that Rose revolution took place because of the unfair elections in 2003.
The NGO sector also took initiative and suggested 17 additional principles to be included to the document. Parliamentary chair, David Bakradze in principle agreed with these suggestions. So, if all these additional suggestions are accepted and are fulfilled genuinely, this could be serious breakthrough in the pre election situation. However some analysts think that this is a trap, targeted at creating of false image as if ruling administration is genuinely committed to hold fair and transparent elections. As an example currently received Must Carry principle is given. According to Must Carry, in pre election period all the TV stations and cable providers are obliged to cover all the political events and give air to all the channels without exception. However there are several conditions which make transparency availability rather doubtful. Sor instance the document says to give possibility to all the channels to receive access to the cable network unless there are some technical difficulties. The skeptical analysts think that it is beyond the control of the general society to check and find out if there are technical difficulties or other ideological reasons which could prevent the decision of the Must Carry principle to be implemented. In addition, ruling administration categorically rejected the possibility of continuation of must carry principle from the date of pre election. Whereas opposition thinks that this principle should be continued until the elections official term for counting ballots and all necessary formalities are expired. So, skeptical analysts think that even in case of adopting and signing the offers initiated by the NGOs the ruling force could always find the ways for manipulations and taking advantage of its position.
The independent analysts give examples that state auditing service, former chamber of control, already now applies selective judgment for the similar conduct of opposition and ruling power. For instance, the move by Maestro TV to distribute very cheaply satellite dishes to the population was labeled by the state audit service as a support to the opposition force, which is nonsense, because obtaining dish does not necessarily mean that the customer will watch only one channel. As a result there is hunting for dishes in the country, if you want to buy a dish in Georgia, you cannot do so, they are all seized or hidden. These all are damaging principles of freedom of information and access to the information.
On the other hand, state audit service judged it fair and normal when some representatives of ruling power held parties for their supporters in restaurants. The biggest protest again is directed against the point which suggests ultimately accepting of the results of the voting. The opposition representatives suppose that by doing so the ruling administration stages a show designed for the foreign allies, observers and friends but in reality it will do what it wants cheating international community.