Democracy is not only something we have; it is something we build. Each diplomat, Minister, and Member of Parliament – in government or opposition – is a mother to the future of Georgia. Leaders today are responsible for our democracy tomorrow.
Georgia is going to the polls on October 8.
Today, the OSCE, PACE, IRI reports suggest that Georgia’s pre-electoral atmosphere is fair, competitive, and with a balanced media environment. However, beyond international monitoring assessments, it is up to Georgians to remember that how this political encounter proceeds is at least as important as its result. We are responsible for our democracy.
Georgian democracy is ours to built
Thinking of October 9, it is important to assert that we will have a government for all Georgians in which everyone will find their place. The government will deliver on a program, and the opposition will hold them to account. Speaking of October 7, we must go to the polls with our political differences, but the electoral process must not make part of the political contest. On October 8, we will go to the polls to assess promises of the opposition and the government’s deliverables. And a choice will be made as to our respective role.
We must respect that decision, and each other. Come October 9, each will have a role and Georgia will have a government and an opposition. Both will be ours.
Four years Georgian Dream
The Georgian Dream administration cemented democratic institutions in Georgia. Over the last four years, every independent monitor confirms that Georgia hasssed the threshold of democratic “transition.” Democratic consolidation is within our reach.
Georgia has freedom and pluralism of media unmatched in Eastern Europe, or so suggests every single human rights monitor. We have left behind us the times of confiscated satellite antennas and we are in a digital age. We are now in a digital era. Media outlets can simply apply for a license and set up shop in ten days.
Georgia has a level of transparency envied by a number of EU member states; or so suggests Transparency International. Our government believes in open governance, the involvement of social, civic, and private stakeholders in the legislative process and service provision. We govern with citizens, not over them.
Georgia has outlawed discrimination on the basis of national identity, sexual orientation, and religious affiliation.
But, our greatest achievement is an electoral level playing field. International monitors testify as to our impeccable record on Presidential and local elections. The circle will close with legislative elections on October 8.
A country to believe in
The Georgian Dream government set out to build a country to study, invest, tprosper, build on and believe in.
That dream requires unleashing individual creativity. Today, investors in Georgia trust in our contract enforcement. They know Georgia does not ”suprize”: there are no hidden costs, political extortion, or retrospective tax charges. We grow fast because we grow together, with trust.
For this dream to work, no one must be left behind. Over the last three years, we have Free Universal Health Care, bouyand purchasing power, and guaranteed union rights. Meanwhile, we continue to climb the global entrepreneurial competitiveness ladder. Social cohesion fortifies our growth.
The consolidation of these achievements is our sovereign right and obligation. Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration is a choice that sets us on track to reach the democracy we want. The reason we are the leading Eastern Partnership reformer – as far as AA/DCFTA implementation is concerned – is that we own the objectives of our reform programs. As we near a Visa Liberalization regime, we hold new passports that signify a new quality of citizenship, with new rights, obligations, possibilities, freedoms, horizons, and Georgian dreams.
How is just as important as who
How we go about these dreams is not obvious. Not every Georgian shares the same dream, as it is right in every democracy. But, certain dreams we must share. \
It is up to us to live in Europe, to actualize today a democracy that is not a “winner-takes-all” game. We must trust today out institutions, honor our roles, and respects our peers in government and opposition, to consolidate our democracy tomorrow. Respect is like freedom. It is a learning-by-doing-process.
Challenging our democracy as part of the political process will leave no victors, only vanquished. The day we will reunite Georgia, with our Abkhazian and Ossetian brothers and sisters will be the day to share in the dignity, security, and prosperity of Georgian citizenship. Unless we become a self-conscious democracy today, we will not become the Republic we desire tomorrow. As Voltaire once said, “The present is pregnant with the future.”