Politicians on NDI’s Assessment of Pre-Election Environment 

The assessment of the pre-election environment in Georgia released by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) on August 19, which along with positive tendencies outlines challenges facing the electoral system, has triggered mixed reactions from the governing Georgian Dream and opposition parties.

MP Mamuka Mdinaradze, leader of the parliamentary majority, focused on “inaccurate factual data” provided in the report, naming “so-called Georgian experts” as the source for inaccuracies.

“I reckon that the Georgian organization[s] or those experts who have provided inaccurate information will have to answer for it, including before NDI,” Mdinaradze said.

MP Tina Bokuchava of the United National Movement said she is not surprised that the U.S. founded non-profit speaks of the use of the judiciary as a tool of political persecution in the context of elections.

“Hate speech, the language of violence and generally, the violent campaign is [behaviour] of the Georgian Dream and that the party leader Bidzina Ivanishvili will use [this path of the violent campaign] during these polls because he has no chance to win elections democratically,” she told reporters.

Levan Tarkhnishvili of European Georgia said the Georgian Dream and its chairman Bidzina Ivanishvili did not take any election recommendations into consideration before, and that they will not follow any of the NDI’s 30 recommendations this time either.

Grigol Gegelia, Lelo for Georgia’s majoritarian candidate for Rustavi and Gardabani single-mandate constituency, highlighted the part of the report, which focuses on “misuse of administrative resources and judiciary” by the ruling party.

“Our Western friends and partners will never tolerate the capture of Georgian democracy by Ivanishvili,” he told reporters.

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