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President of Georgia meets with diplomatic corps

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, November 13
“We are in a very important phase - we are entering an election year, which must emphasize the next steps necessary to improve democracy in Georgia. Accordingly, discussions on this and other topics are always welcomed," said the President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili, at the meeting with the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia.

The event was organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNPD) at the President’s Avlabari Residence on November 12; it was attended by nearly 35 ambassadors.

The main topics of the meeting were internal and external political issues such as Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration process, democratic reforms and the completion of domestic projects.

Margvelashvili thanked the ambassadors for attending the meeting.

"This is a very good opportunity to have an interesting and productive discussion. We are grateful to the United Nations Development Program for initiating this meeting,” stated the President, noting that he “is always open for consultations and discussions about issues of partnership with other countries".

After the meeting, the President’s Advisor in human rights issues, Kakha Kozhoridze, stated that the main issue was electoral legislation and related topics.

“The main topic of the meeting was the electoral environment. We discussed the needs that should be implemented in our legislation in order to improve it. We also talked about the court, the media environment and constitutional changes. The Rustavi 2 TV issue was also mentioned, but we did not discuss it at any length,” Kozhoridze stated.

According to the Advisor, the ambassadors emphasized the President’s role in the development of media freedom. He noted that in the process of future elections, the role of the media is very important.

“The President's position is that we cannot talk about a free and fair electoral environment without an independent media. We all agreed that free media is an essential component of fair elections,” said President’s Advisor.

Parliamentary elections will be held in Georgia in 2016.

Parliamentary and non-parliamentary opposition groups are asking the government to implement changes in the election code, which means the replacement of the majoritarian election system (wherein the MP is elected by direct voting) with a proportional variant (in which the parties receive the number of MP mandates proportional to the votes gathered in the election).

The ruling majority claim that such changes will take time, and they cannot change the election system before the 2016 elections.