EU Delegation on Runoffs, Expects Parties to Enter Parliament
On November 22, the EU Delegation to Georgia stated that it hopes and expects all political parties will overcome their differences and enable elected MPs to take up their seats, “notwithstanding their differing assessments of the electoral process.”
The statement, released in coordination with EU Heads of Mission a day after the opposition-boycotted runoff elections, reiterated support to the preliminary conclusions issued by the international observers after the first round of the 2020 parliamentary elections.
The observation missions, although critical of a set of specific elements of the election process, did not question the overall integrity of the October 31 elections in Georgia. The EU added that it looks forward to the OSCE/ODIHR final report, “including their recommendations to address identified shortcomings.”
The EU Delegation expressed regrets for “both the mistrust that has affected the electoral process and the fact that opposition candidates did not contest seats in the second round,” noting that it “strongly supports democratic processes and the respect for legal frameworks.”
The statement underscored the significance of “a functioning Parliament as the central forum for political debate, with all parties working together to advance reforms, in line with our mutual commitments under the Association Agreement.”
It further encouraged parties to use parliamentary mandates for addressing issues such as “improving the foundations for future elections through ambitious and credible electoral and judicial reforms” and handling pandemic-induced urgent health and socio-economic challenges.
The EU Delegation expressed support for freedom of speech and assembly, condemning “all acts or threats of violence” and urging “all sides to refrain from provocative actions and the authorities to uphold the Rule of Law, including through credible and swift investigation of any allegations, as well as transparent and fair court proceedings.”
“A high responsibility now rests on the political leaders of both majority and opposition parties to come together to find common ground and build common purpose, to enable Georgia to advance effectively on its democratic path and the implementation of our agreed European agenda, in the interest of Georgia, its citizens and of EU-Georgia relations. The European Union remains ready to support Georgia in these endeavors,” the statement concluded.
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