Georgian voters are preparing to go to the polls today, calling on the Georgian authorities in Washington to conduct the process peacefully and fairly. William Courtney, a former US ambassador to Georgia and a leading researcher at Rand Corporation, told VOA that there is a lot of talk in Washington about Georgia’s democratic backwardness and that these perceptions need to change.
“From Washington’s perspective, the main concern is that these elections will be fairer, with less administrative resources, less state control over the media, and so on. Compared to the last election. There is great concern in Washington that elections in Georgia have not improved for a long time. When we look at other countries, for example Moldova, where Maya Sandu was elected, we see that the elections there were more honest. Ukraine also has a good rate in this regard. [არჩევნების] One way of assessing it is that in Ukraine, for example, those in power are holding elections … Lately, in Washington, there is often talk that Georgia is going backwards. It is important for Georgia to change these perceptions, “said Courtney.
Speaking to VOA about Georgia’s frustration with the United States, diplomat Daniel Fried said Georgia needed to make progress.
“The frustration for Georgia will disappear when Georgia starts to move forward. “We Americans are like that, we love it when countries move forward,” he said.
According to Fried, these elections will be a test for Georgia in what direction the country wants to move.
“The question that Georgia has to answer is, what do you want to be in 10 years? Do you want a polarized, dysfunctional country that Putin is picking up? If Georgia wants to have democracy and accountability. We saw what happened in Moldova, a poor country, they ran home to a so-called corrupt government, and elected a new pro-European, leader with a reform agenda. We will see if he will be successful. However, Georgia also faces this problem. “Where do you want to be in 10 years?” Fried said.
According to an agreement reached at the mediation of the European Union and the United States in April, if the Georgian Dream fails to win 43% of the vote in the October 2 local elections, early parliamentary elections will be held in the country, but the Georgian Dream Agreement, left on 28 July.