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Presentation of the “Ethical Principles” for the Candidates Participating in October 28, 2018 Presidential Election

Presidential candidates agree on the principles of ethics prior to the presidential election. Today, presentation of the document of “Ethical Principles” for the candidates participating in the October 28, 2018 Presidential Election was held at the “Biltmore Hotel”. Tamar Zhvania, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia and H.E. Lukas Beglinger, Ambassador of Switzerland to Georgia made opening remarks at the event. 

Signatories of the document agree to respect interests of the society. Ethical principles will serve as the basis for electoral campaign carried out by the presidential candidates. Signatories of the document also agree to respect Georgian legislation, conduct the campaign without any discrimination based on ethnic, religious, gender or other affiliations, refuse to use any hate speech, or statements that involve xenophobia or intimidation, encourage peaceful campaign environment, abstain from obstruction of campaign events and dissemination of agitation materials of other contestants, abstain from dissemination of false information about the candidates with the prior knowledge and refrain from using the administrative resources.

“Today, the presentation of very important document was held for media and society. This is the document of agreement on ethical principles. Each presidential candidate and their representatives were involved in the process of developing ethical principles and they state their consent to join the document.

The document has already been signed by 20 presidential candidates and we are looking forward to receiving the signatures of other candidates, since we have their prior approval and support on the content of the agreement. The document is important, as the development of electoral culture, support of electoral processes is the significant part of our country’s agenda. Respect the interest of society, refrain from violence, abstain from intimidation, threats and hate speech are the ethical principles which is very important for us and if the candidates follow these principles during their election campaign, it will first of all serve to the respect of our country and voters” – stated Tamar Zhvania to journalists.  

“This document is the important step forward in the process of Georgia’s democratic development. It gives us the possibility to change the political culture, which itself will support and be oriented on content based discussions and objective debates, instead of attacking the political opponents. Change of the political culture is necessary as it is not sufficient to have only democratic institutions and electoral code. The democracy implies the principle of fair and free competition on particular ideas or political program; accordingly, it is important for Switzerland to promote establishment of high electoral culture in Georgia. I am glad, this attempt was successful and practically all candidates signed the document” – stated H.E. Lukas Beglinger, Ambassador of Switzerland to Georgia.

The process of agreement was facilitated by the Central Election Commission with the support of the government of Switzerland. Along with the presidential candidates and their representatives, international organizations and diplomatic corps also attended the presentation.

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