Georgian Dream turns to nightmare

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Georgia Dream’s party has taken the unilateral decision to annul the 19 April agreement it reached to enact reforms blaming opposition parties. 27 July marked 100 days since the signing of the agreement. Georgian Dream claims to have “conscientiously fulfilled each clause of the document”. 

In a statement, Georgia Dream’s claims: “The country has returned to the constitutional framework and political processes will continue in accordance with the constitutional order that is in force in Georgia.”

The announcement comes ahead of municipal elections. The party maintains that all allegations against it “were false”. 

European Council President Charles Michel issued a statement saying: “I have taken note of the decision by the Georgian Dream as regards the 19 April Agreement. This agreement continues to offer a European way towards building a stronger democracy and rule of law in Georgia in the interest of the Georgian people. I have equally taken note of the continued non-signature by the [opposition party] United National Movement of the agreement.

“I see no alternative to continued in-depth electoral and judicial reforms, and free and fair local elections. I call on all parties to put the interests of the citizens first and to commit to advancing Georgia’s political discourse within the framework of the country’s democratic institutions. Consultations with a number of political actors in Georgia are starting. Yesterday, I met with President Zourabichvili to discuss the situation and EU-Georgia relations.

Met yesterday with @Zourabichvili_S to discuss the political situation in 🇬🇪 and 🇪🇺 relations.

Consultations in #Georgia are starting. 19 April agreement is the best way to advance a reform agenda.

I call on all parties to put citizens' interests first.

— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) July 29, 2021

The US Embassy in Georgia was even more forceful in their condemnation, describing Georgian Dream’s decision to withdraw from the agreement as deeply disturbing and stating that they were “exasperated” by the unilateral decision and that: “Washington is growing increasingly alarmed about repeated setbacks to Georgia’s democratic future.”

Similarly, Georgian civil society was fast to express alarm: “We, the undersigned civil society organizations, would like to react to the statement by the Chair of the ruling party Georgian Dream, Irakli Kobakhidze, on the withdrawal from the EU brokered so-called Charles Michel agreement, signed by Georgian Dream.

“We believe that this decision by the authorities constitutes a straightforward rejection of Georgia's Euro-Atlantic course and the peaceful development of the country through democratic reforms. The decision of Georgian Dream is a way to deepen the pre-election political crisis and polarization and only serves a desire to retain the power, for which Georgian Dream is ready to sacrifice the country's prosperity, Western orientation, democratic development and friendly relations with strategic partners.”

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