Today, when Georgia is facing the most difficult challenges because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis, it is key that the 2020 parliamentary elections are held in peaceful, normal and democratic environment. The pandemic and the economic crisis were preceded by a severe political crisis caused by the government's actions. With the help of international partners, an agreement was reached, which included a compromise version of the electoral model (120/30) and the release of political opponents and activists arrested after the Gavrilov's night, as well as halting of the ongoing criminal cases. The text of the March 8 agreement outlined specific mechanisms for implementing the agreement on political prisoners - in particular, the exclusive powers of the President, such as pardon.
The agreement was signed by all political parties excluding the Patriots Alliance, which publicly cited the agreement on the release of the political prisoners - including Giorgi Rurua, Irakli Okruashvili and Gigi Ugulava - as reason for refusing to sign.
The importance of fulfilling both parts of the agreement was stressed by the facilitators of the negotiations - the U.S. and EU ambassadors as well as other high profile friends of Georgia such as the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Senator Jim Risch, co-chair of the Georgia Caucus in the House of Representative Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Co-Chair of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and leading Member of European Parliament Andrius Kubilius.
In case the political prisoners are not released, Ivanishvili and his team will be personally responsible for the failure to change the electoral system yet another time. Refusal to release the political prisoners will thus mean the Georgian Dream breaking the Agreement. Under these conditions, opposition factions which have been in a boycott mode will continue the Parliamentary boycott.
If Ivanishvili fails to comply with the agreement, Georgia will suffer at a time when it is especially important to receive economic and security assistance from our allies and the responsibility will again rest with Ivanishvili. Our objective is to have the Agreement implemented. Our goal remains to accomplish important changes in Georgia within the framework of the Constitution and peacefully, so that Georgia can move to a qualitatively new stage of democratic development through electoral change of government for the second time.