NGO Statement on February 8, 2012 Decision of the Chamber of Control

9 Feb, 2012

On February 8, the Chamber of Control of Georgia Announced that New Generation New Initiative was a Person Associated with a Political Party

The February 8 decision of the Chamber of Control of Georgia to announce the New Generation New Initiative (nGnI) as a person associated with a political party presents a clear illustration of the danger faced by civil activity, which we have talked about since making amendments to the Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens in December 2011.

This case provides proof of real risk that may be faced by any non-governmental organization or a citizen.  It is a fact that the provision of the bill, which stipulates against applying restrictions (imposed by the law) to the freedom of expression and civil activity, failed to avoid the danger.  As a result, the Chamber of Control imposed restrictions under Article 261 not only on political activity but also on civil activity.

New Generation New Initiative is a non-governmental organization, which has never had any “announced political goals”; neither has it ever supported any political party or candidate.  The organization has focused on the monitoring of election processes.  Moreover, it is involved in the ‘Voter List Specification Commission’ activity with a status of a non-governmental sector representative, which is approved by the order of the President of Georgia. 

Hazy and incompatible with the current legislation criteria based on which the Chamber of Control made the decision, acting on a “presumption of guilt” and applying such sanctions that have led to losing the key source of income by the organization, exposes to danger each NGO, citizen and media outlet focused on controlling government activities. 

We, NGOs think that the Chamber of Control’s decision to announce nGnI as a person relating to a political party runs counter to law, is groundless, presents an action against civil society activity and poses a danger to the non-governmental organizations in the country.

We Demand that:

The Chamber of Control of Georgia provide arguments for the decision and give to the parties the right of full participation in the decision making process as well as the opportunities to appeal against the decision;

Parliament of Georgia make amendments to the Law on Political Unions of Citizens, secure guarantees of freedom of civil society activity and immunity.