With Swiss support: Political parties in Georgia sign code of conduct

On 14 September 2020, several political parties in Georgia have signed a code of conduct to promote peaceful elections and a fair election campaign. Switzerland encourages all political parties to sign this document. The code was facilitated by Georgia's Central Election Commission with Switzerland's support. The parliamentary elections scheduled for 31 October 2020 constitute an important milestone for democracy in the South Caucasus nation.

The head of the Central Election Commission in Georgia is at a desk, next to her a specialist in sign language.

The head of the Central Election Commission in Georgia presents the Code of Conduct on 12 September 2020. © Election Administration of Georgia

Switzerland has in recent months supported Georgia's Central Election Commission in facilitating a code of conduct for political parties and candidates. This code sets out the basic rules for ensuring peaceful elections and a fair campaign, which the parties and candidates voluntarily pledge to respect. It also includes regulations on campaign funding transparency and measures to curb the dissemination of hate speech on social media and other platforms. By signing this code, the political parties reaffirm their commitment to a free and fair election campaign.

Promoting a climate of trust between the parties

Georgia has recently adopted constitutional amendments which establish a more proportional electoral system. The upcoming elections will therefore be pivotal in shaping the country's future political landscape. The new code aims to help prevent the escalation of tensions and conflict during the campaign and thereby also promote a climate of trust between the parties beyond the elections. Switzerland will continue to offer its support for the implementation stage of the code, particularly through its involvement in local and international election observation.

Strategy for conflict prevention and resolution through democratic processes

Switzerland has engaged in peace promotion in the South Caucasus and supported peaceful democratic processes in Georgia for several years. Previously, Switzerland facilitated the drafting of ethical principles for the 2018 presidential candidates with a view to promoting a constructive campaign environment and preventing existing tensions from escalating in the course of the process. These activities fall under Switzerland's strategy for conflict prevention and resolution through democratic processes and, in particular, the promotion of free, fair and peaceful elections in various countries. Support for electoral processes to help promote democracy and prevent conflict is consistent with the objectives of the Federal Council's Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23.

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