US Ambassador agrees that elections were “competitive” and “well-administered”.
By Mariam Chanishvili and Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, October 12
The United States Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, says he agrees with the statements of the international observing missions and believes that the October 8 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia were held in a “competitive, well-administered environment, where fundamental freedoms, in most cases, were respected.”
“The US Embassy agrees with the assessment of international observers, including the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and other international bodies, that the elections were conducted in a competitive and well-managed atmosphere, where fundamental values were protected,” the Ambassador stated yesterday.
However, Kelly stated that he also hoped the opposition United National Movement (UNM), which received 27,14% of votes in proportional voting and was scheduled to participate in the second round of elections for majoritarian race, would make the decision to enter Parliament and “choose a peaceful way of action”.
The Ambassador said this in the wake of the UNM claiming the elections “were falsified” and that they are considering not entering the legislative body.
The Ambassador also mentioned several violations on election day and hoped the incidents would be appropriately and shortly investigated.
“We strictly condemn these incidents and call on the authorities to thoroughly investigate them. As for the process itself, it was only the first round; the second round is ahead”, noted Kelly.
The OSCE commented on Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections, noting that the elections were “strongly competitive and positive”.
“Strongly competitive and well-run elections offered an opportunity for voters to make informed choices about their options,” said Ignacio Sanchez Amor, the special coordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission. “The unacceptable isolated incidents of violence we’ve seen had an impact but, thankfully, did not undermine an otherwise positive election.”
They said that the investigation of the incidents was crucial.
Georgia’s elections were monitored by thousands of local and international observers.
Preparing for the run-off vote must start after October 27 and must be finalized by November 21.