On November 27, while speaking in a talk show with Imedi TV Bidzina Ivanishvili, the leader of the ruling party attacked US-funded local NGOs and international organizations blaming them for cooperating with the opposition party. Keti Khutsishvili, Open Society Georgian Foundation’s Director responds to the allegation.
“I wish to remind Mr. Ivanishvili that he used to be very fond of civil society sector when he was in the opposition, and at that time, just like today, the civil sector was fighting to hold fair elections, to facilitate protection of human rights and to prevent persecution against any oppositional political party. The government at the time was accusing us of being partial to Bidzina Ivanishvili and his allies. Today, the situation has reversed and now this government is trying to accuse us of having a special bias in favor of the opposition, despite the fact that we still do the same thing that always we used to do. Protection of human rights, monitoring government’s activities and state budget expenditure, exposing corruption and violations have been and remain our main objectives, and the government should not disapprove of this.
Today, Bidzina Ivanishvili, instead of accepting an objective criticism for failing to uphold the promise given to society, opts to accuse all of us of collusion with a certain opposition party and to discredit the civil society, especially now, before the elections, in order to undermine and devalue the truly impartial assessments from the NGOs.
When the government starts to move towards autocracy then it begins attacking NGOs”.