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Georgian Opposition Signs Cooperation Pact

5 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- In an unprecedented move, four Georgian opposition parties have agreed to organize primary elections among themselves to help nominate single candidates in the run-up to parliamentary by-elections next fall.

The agreement was signed today in Tbilisi by leaders of the Conservative, Labor, New Rightists, and Freedom parties.

Another opposition political grouping, the Republican Party, today announced that it will not take part in the upcoming by-elections because the Central Election Commission (CEC) failed to register its candidates in time.

Addressing a news briefing in Tbilisi, Republican Party Chairman Davit Usupashvili accused the CEC of deliberately barring his party from the race.

"None of our candidates will be able to contest those by- elections," Usupashvili said. "This is not our choice, but the result of disgraceful -- albeit successful, in their view -- steps taken by the authorities. But we will see who is successful in the end."

CEC Chairman Gia Kavtaradze today rejected the charges, saying the Republican Party had failed to fill in its application papers properly.

By-elections are scheduled to take place in five of Georgia's electoral constituencies on 1 October.

(Imedi TV/Novosti-Gruziya/Civil Georgia)

See also:

Is Georgia Becoming Progressively Less Democratic?