MEPs ‘Call for Calm’ Ahead of Runoffs

Four leading Members of European Parliament on EU-Georgia relations, David McAllister, Marina Kaljurand, Sven Mikser and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, issued a joint statement on October 31 parliamentary elections, “calling for calm” ahead of the second round.

The MEPs said “all possible appeals and complaints, substantiated with necessary details and some element of proof, should be handled in a fair, transparent and rigorous manner.”

“We take note that these elections were found to be competitive and freedoms were respected overall, despite deplorable cases of pressure on voters and blurring of the line between the ruling party and the State throughout the campaign and on election day,” the lawmakers underscored.

The statement also noted that “candidates were able to campaign freely” and that “engagement on the part of civil society actors also constitutes a positive feature of these elections.” It also positively assessed “pragmatic solutions” to allow quarantined and self-isolated citizens to cast their ballots in special polling stations.

The four MEPs further remarked that high level of media and political polarization, as well as the issue of campaign financing were dubbed problematic by OSCE/ODIHR observing mission.

The statement further expressed its regret that citizens in the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia could not participate in the polls.

“We look forward to further cooperating with the newly elected parliament on Georgia’s chosen Euro-Atlantic integration path,” the MEPs concluded.

David McAllister (EPP, Germany), serves as Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee; Marina Kaljurand (S&D, Estonia), Chairs the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the South Caucasus; Sven Mikser (S&D, Estonia) is the Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Georgia; and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel (The Greens/EFA, Germany), is the EP’s lead member for democracy support activities in Georgia.

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