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MEPs express their concern over post-election events in Georgia

By Khatia Bzhalava
Thursday, November 12
Members of European Parliament Andrius Kubilius and Rasa Jukneviciene, also a member of Parliament of Lithuania Zygimantas Pavilionis have published a statement where they express their concerns regarding the situation in Georgia that followed the October 31 parliamentary elections.

According to the statement, even though the elections were competitive and the voters had real alternatives, the conduct of the elections was affected by allegations spread about pressurizing the voters, which, as the statement read, has resulted in reducing public confidence. They believe that the situation has been aggravated by the reports that both opposition and NGOs are denied the possibility to fairly review their substantiated claims and appeal to existing institutions.

“Fair and transparent handling of all and any complaints remains a prerequisite to establishing trust and confidence among the Georgian politicians and people.”

As the Lithuanian politicians believe, to find a way out of a difficult situation for the Georgian democracy, the Government of Georgia, together with the ruling party has the responsibility to address the existing problems and reach out for dialogue with the opposition.

They call on international organizations present during the first round of elections with their observation missions (especially OSCE and CoE PA) to assess complaints and election irregularities and present the conclusion.

The MEPs call on the government of Georgia to restrict the usage of force by police against peaceful protesters and not to provoke violence in the streets. Politicians express readiness to play a “constructional” role in dialogues between the government, opposition, and people.

“We trust Georgian authorities will use the legal means within the democratic processes Georgia has built over the last decades, to evaluate complaints and evidence about irregularities of elections and to seek inclusive dialogue with opposition and people, who protest on the streets. We stand ready to assist and play a constructive role in this dialogue.”

According to them, on the backdrop of the recent development in the south Caucasus, Georgia needs political stability and unity to proceed with its ambitious European agenda. Kubilius, Jukneviciene, and Pavilionis call on every political side to take responsibility to ensure that Georgia concentrates its efforts on European integration and “has a parliament, which enjoys broad legitimacy and can address the immediate challenges.”

Since the parliamentary elections of October 31, Georgian political parties and their supporters have been protesting the election results published by the Central Election Commission. Opposition demands the resignation of the chairperson of CEC Tamar Zhvania, holding free and fair repeat elections, and the release of political inmates.