US Embassy: “The blurred line between state and party resources is deeply troubling”

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    “The blurred line between state and party resources is deeply troubling. “Significant reports of misappropriation of administrative resources have raised doubts about the general fairness of the election,” the US Embassy in Georgia said in a statement on the occasion of the October 2 municipal elections.

    “The blurred line between state and party resources is deeply troubling. “Important reports of misuse of administrative resources have cast doubt on the general fairness of the elections.”

    According to the US Embassy, ​​“pressure on teachers, law enforcement and public sector staff in many cities and villages has reportedly prevented them from making free choices on Election Day.

    These types of violations often took place in Georgian elections, which is completely incompatible with Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic ideals. There is a dangerous risk that these and other recurring electoral irregularities will become inevitable. Voters in Georgia deserve a higher standard of fairness in the election process, the embassy said in a statement.

    US Embassy in Tbilisi

    The US Embassy agrees with the OSCE / ODIHR EOM that the October 2 election was technically sound, but the embassy emphasized that the election environment had been marred by intimidation, vote-buying, and similar irregularities.

    “The United States shares the OSCE / Odier’s first assessment that the election was technically well administered, but [საარჩევნო] The environment was damaged by widespread and repeated complaints of intimidation, vote-buying, pressure on candidates and voters, misuse of members of the Citizens’ Observer Party, and unequal working conditions, including during the pre-election period.

    “The United States shares the OSCE / Odier’s first assessment that the election was technically well administered, but [საარჩევნო] The environment was damaged by widespread and repeated complaints of intimidation, vote-buying, pressure on candidates and voters, misuse of members of the Citizens’ Observer Party, and unequal working conditions, including during the pre-election period.

    While voters had the opportunity to vote in a mostly quiet environment on October 2, the election process is more than just election day. “We share Odiri’s concerns about issues such as the polarized media environment, significant resource imbalances, insufficient oversight of campaign finances, under-representation of women in the campaign, reports of misuse of administrative resources, and pressure on journalists.”

    “To solve important issues for the citizens.” Now is the time to form political alliances of parties to immediately resolve issues that are important to the citizens of Georgia.

    According to the US Embassy, ​​now is the time to form political alliances of parties – “to resolve important issues for the citizens.” Each election is a chance to strengthen and improve the democratic process.On October 2, Georgian citizens exercised their crucial right to vote, to express their views clearly and to ensure the accountability of their political leaders.

    We call on all parties to refrain from attempts to further polarize the political situation, to maintain a calm post-election environment, and to conduct fair, impartial consideration of election complaints. The second round is an opportunity to improve the process and hold an organized, competitive second round, which the citizens of Georgia will have full confidence in. “

    The US embassy said in a statement that “recent parliamentary efforts to implement electoral reform to address some of the shortcomings identified in previous elections are commendable.” While some of the measures taken have brought about a positive change, the overall failure to reduce recurring irregularities, especially in the run-up to the previous election, is frustrating.

    We call on the Parliament, including the opposition parties, to act in good faith to consistently strengthen Georgia’s electoral system, to implement key reforms, including those recommended by Odiri, the Venice Commission and Georgia’s international partners, and to adopt constitutional amendments that provide for all future parliamentary elections. Issued. The reform process must be carried out with the involvement of citizens and civil society. “

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