On May 22, 2018, within the framework of the project “Multiparty Dialogue – Strengthening the participation of national minorities in political life”, Eastern European Centre for Multiparty Democracy (EECMD) has organized a multiparty meeting in Duisi, Pankisi Gorge.
The meeting has been attended by the representative of four parliamentary political parties – Georgian Dream, European Georgia, United National Movement and Alliance of Patriots of Georgia – as well as by the representatives of public institutions and non-governmental organizations, working both in Tbilisi and Pankisi Gorge. Local residents, representatives of Council of Elders, Council of Women Elders and members of Salafi community have participated in the meeting as well.
Following the opening speeches from Mr. Levan Tsutskiridze, Executive Director of the EECMD, and from Ms. Nino Gogoladze, representative of the Office of the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities (OSCE-HCNM) in Georgia, the representatives of political parties have addressed the audience, introducing to them their vision vis-à-vis the Pankisi Gorge and its development.
Participants of the events have actively engaged in the discussion session of the meeting and expressed their opinions in relation to the issues that are important for the local population as well as regarding the general state of affairs in the country. Members of the audience raised the importance of Pankisi youth’s engagement in the political life of Georgia. They have further remarked that in order to ensure that the voice of Pankisi population is heard, political parties shall take steps towards including the representatives of Pankisi Gorge into their parties, including by recruiting the candidates for the elections.
Political party representatives acknowledged the importance of engaging more with Pankisi Gorge and ensuring that the residents of the region are duly represented both within the political parties and generally in the political life of Georgia. The meeting has been concluded with the hope that the dialogue between the political parties and the local population of Pankisi Gorge will continue in the future.