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Alt-Info Inaugurates Russia-Friendly Party Conservative Movement, DRI Urges against Its Registration

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Wednesday, November 24
The team of the violent, homophobic, ultra-right organization Alt-Info founded a political party called the “Conservative Movement”. The founding congress was held at Expo-Georgia on November 20. Delegates elected the party leader and governing bodies and presented their political visions, program objectives, and strategy. Zurab Makharadze was elected chairman of the party. The members of the political council are Irakli Martinenko, Irakli Morgoshia, Giorgi Kardava, Vasil Gvilia. Kardava was elected General Secretary of the party.

They refer to themselves as national, pro-Georgian forces and say that the changed political reality after their arrival will be the end of the ‘Liberal dictatorship, which puts the country in a vassal state.’

“The fate of Georgia's territorial integrity is being decided in the Kremlin. If anyone likes it, if they do not, we should certainly have a direct dialogue with our Abkhaz brothers, but the key to the conflict is in Moscow.” Makharadze delivered a speech at the congress.

According to him, if the Russian Federation really wants a state of alliance with Georgia, Conservative Movement is ready not only to start a direct and unconditional dialogue but also to work to establish a partnership and alliance with the Russian Federation.

He also expressed readiness to talk about the integration of Georgia in the security and economic system, which is in their interest, in parallel with the restoration of our territorial integrity, but this should happen at the expense of restoring territorial integrity and improving the economic situation and demographics.

Alt-Info Ltd. was registered in January 2019, director and 50% shareholder is Shota Martinenko. The other half is owned by Tsiala Morgoshia. Another organization related to Alt-Info, A (A) IP "Alternative for Georgia" was registered in January 2019 as well.

Opposition parties and NGOs say that this pro-Russian, homophobic group that is famous for its violent statements contradicts the Constitution of Georgia. They call on the public registry to refuse to register this force as a political party. Ana Natsvlishvili, an MP from the Lelo faction, said she would gather the other 29 deputies in case of registration and demand that the Constitutional Court abolished the party. Recall, the Law on the Constitutional Court reads that, President, at least 1/5 of the MPs (30), or the Government have the right to file a constitutional claim on the activities of a political party.

The Institute for Democracy Research says that the NAPR of the Ministry of Justice should pay special attention to the goals stated in the party's founding documents and not register the political party "Conservative Movement."

They cite the Constitution of Georgia and articles from the Organic Law of Georgia on Political Unions, according to which, it is inadmissible to form and operate such a party "which promotes war or violence, inciting national, sectarian, religious or social strife."

“If a party incorporates provisions that incite illegal, violent propaganda, social, national, religious or social strife in its registration documents, the public registry should not register the Conservative Movement,” the DRI said.

According to the Constitution of Georgia, it is inadmissible to form and operate a political party aimed at overthrowing or violently changing the constitutional order of Georgia, violating the country's independence, violating its territorial integrity or promoting war or violence, inciting national, ethnic, sectarian, religious or social strife. It is inadmissible to create a political party on a territorial basis.

According to the Law on Political Union of Citizens, various documents, including the party's charter, the signatures of at least 1,000 party members, and others, must be submitted to the Public Registry Agency within a week of the party's founding congress. At this stage, the applicant must meet both the technical requirements - complete documentation, as well as the goals of the party provided by the charter, must comply with the law and constitutional requirements.

According to constitutionalist Vakhtang Khmaladze, if there is nothing in the charter that is against the constitution or the law, the agency is obliged to register the party.

Based on the content of the formal record, the Conservative Movement is expected to meet party registration requirements, including other technical obligations.

Recall that representatives of the Alt-Info group, which is characterized by pro-Russian, anti-Western, and homophobic sentiments, organized the violent events of July 5, 2021, when more than 50 members of the media were injured as a result of physical retaliation.

That's why a part of society thinks that a number of their actions contradict the Constitution. However, constitutionalists say it can not be assessed as a legal position of the party, and old activities can not become the legal basis to raise the issue of banning the party.