Acting president of Georgia Nino Burjanadze held emergency briefing on the existing situation in the country, the pre-election period, the reopening of Imedi TV and Georgia-Russian relationship.
"Today Georgia is on an important stage of development, thus having a normal, democratic and absolutely transparent pre-election period in Georgia is of paramount importance. Ahead we are having the election. This election will determine in which direction the country will go," stated acting president Burjanadze.
At the briefing Nino Burjanadze called on every political force to act within the frames of law, and demanded from the law enforcements to ensure stability and prevent every violent action during the pre-election period. "I call on the local government bodies, the governors and the local government to pay particular attention to every detail that might throw bad light on the pre-election period, to facilitate the organization of the presidential candidates' meetings with the constituency and to ensure availability of premises for this purpose," Burjanadze said.
Nino Burjanadze called free and objective media as paramount for holding democratic and transparent elections. "I request all media outlets to be as objective as possible and to pursue ethical and professional standards; to prevent every unconstitutional and violent call and every presidential candidate to receive equal and fair media-coverage".
According to the Burjanadze's statement, in light of the necessity for equal functioning of every media outlet during the pre-election campaign, the Government of Georgia made a political decision to ask the General Prosecutor's Office to consider the threat, based on which a decision to seize the TV station's property had been made, posed by Imedi TV as subsided, and to petition the court to remove the seizure order on Imedi TV's property.
"Regardless of the fact that a decision on the seizure of the property has been made with full observance of the law and approval of the court, we request the General Prosecutor's Office to take into consideration the existing situation in the country, the pre-election period, as well as the circumstance that there does exists an agreement between the Government of Georgia and international organizations and the negotiations with News Corp are proceeding," said the acting president Burjanadze, stressing that the negotiation process with News Corp was due to finish by December 7 although the Georgian Government was ready to finalize the procedures much earlier. As to the Imedi staff, Burjanadze said that they will be able to enter the station on December 5 to prepare for the resumption of Imedi broadcasts.
I would like to assure you that we will do everything to ensure that not a single objective person, not a single observer and international organization would doubt the democracy of elections in Georgia," Nino Burjanadze said.
Acting president also briefed on the elections in Russia and discussed Georgia-Russian relationship. "We have been observing the latest developments in Russia. After winning the elections, one of the subjects of my former counterpart Gryzlov's conference was the issues of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Russian Government at such a difficult time is discussing the issue of either possible recognition of Abkhazia's and South Ossetia's independence, or the possibility of incorporating Abkhazia and South Ossetia into the Russian Federation. This naturally raises our concern. I hope that the international community will respond appropriately. As far as the allegations about the Russian citizens living in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are concerned, I deem it necessary to remind Mr. Gryzlov that these people had been granted the Russian citizenship as a result of fully ignoring bilateral agreements, the Georgian legislation and international standards. Despite this, I reconfirm that the Georgian government wants normal, equal relations with Russia, based on mutual respect. We are ready for normal cooperation, but under such conditions, our cooperation will become extremely difficult," Nino Burjanadze said.
of the President of Georgia