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PM tasks Interior Ministry to avoid any election-related tension

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 12
Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili has appealed to and tasked the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) to use “all legal measures” to avoid any election-related tensions.

The PM made the statement ahead of the October 8 Parliamentary Elections.

“I appeal and task the Interior Ministry to ensure all legitimate measures not to let any confrontations take place in the country,” Kvirikashvili said.

“The Ministry must provide all resources to prevent any and all violations. This protection should be extended to the opposition if such a risk existed, but the members of the ruling force also have the right to be protected,” Kvirikashvili added.

The PM also addressed the local authorities and Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia (GDDG) Party supporters to ensure “equal conditions” for all election participants.

“Any violation that may take place in the pre-election period can only harm the Government’s image,” Kvirikashvili said.

The PM stressed that over the last four years, while in power, the current Government has introduced “fundamentally new and democratic standards,” unlike those under the previous United National Movement Government.

“We refused the violations that took place previously before 2012. We have absolutely different attitud and we are able to conduct totally different, violation-free, pre-election campaigning,” Kvirikashvili said.

The PM stressed the current Government had invited “unprecedented number” of foreign observers for them to monitor the pre-election period and evaluate the “positive changes” the current authorities have provided over the last four years.

Meanwhile the opposition reminds the by-election incident some months ago in Georgia’s western Samegrelo region, when several UNM leaders were beaten.

The UNM says the Government stood behind the violation and those ruling party supporters who created the stir haven’t been punished yet.

The UNM believes it is more likely that the Government will trigger confrontations rather than the opposition.

It is clear if some confrontation takes place in the pre-election or election periods it will be the responsibility of the Government to quell any unrest and not the opposition. The current officials suggest that former ruling power UNM is deliberately provoking confrontation between themselves and DGGD supporters.

Of course, all parties should think about the good conduct of the elections as it is in the state interest, but the main body responsible for fair and transparent elections is the current authorities.

The Georgian police must be strict and intolerant to any violations, no matter who will stand behind them.