EU, Russia and US positive on Georgian elections: Updated
The European Union has congratulated Bidzina Ivanishvili’s Georgian Dream coalition on its victory in Georgia’s October 1 2012 parliamentary elections.
In a joint statement, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and European Neighbourhood Policy Commissioner Štefan Füle, said that the “generally positive” conduct of the parliamentary elections, and the high level of voter participation, “underscore Georgia’s commitment to its democratic path”.
“We take full note of ODIHR’s preliminary assessment of the conduct of the elections which considers that the process has shown a healthy respect for fundamental freedoms at the heart of democratic elections.
We look forward to continued close co-operation with Georgia on our ambitious mutual agenda of political association and economic integration,” Ashton and Füle said.
On October 2, the Voice of Russia reported Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev as saying that reports from Georgia’s Central Election Commission on the parliamentary election showed that the Georgian people need changes, said.
“If this result becomes the reality Georgia’s political landscape will become more diverse, which can be welcomed because it means that the parliament will receive more constructive and responsible forces,” Medvedev said.
He said that his party, United Russia, is ready for dialogue on the future of Russian-Georgian relations, the Voice of Russia said.
In an October 3 statement reported by the Voice of America, Russia’s foreign ministry said that it hopes that Monday’s parliamentary election in Georgia would help normalise relations between the two countries.
Russian foreign Ministry spokesperson Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement that “Georgian society has voted for changes”. He expressed hope that Georgia will move towards a “normalisation” and “establishment of constructive and respectful relations” with their neighbours.
The United States said that the US congratulates the people of Georgia for the successful completion of yesterday’s parliamentary elections, and the achievement of another milestone in Georgia’s democratic development”.
Georgian citizens have set a regional and global example by conducting a competitive campaign, freely exercising their democratic rights, and affirming their commitment to undertake a peaceful transfer of power, the US said.
Local and international election monitors, including OSCE/ODIHR, contributed to ensuring a transparent electoral process. While the final tabulation and appeals are still ongoing, these elections mark a significant step in the consolidation of Georgian democracy, the statement said.
“Much work remains in the coming days and months. President Mikheil Saakashvili, Bidzina Ivanishvili and the leadership of the Georgian Dream coalition, and Georgia’s new parliament will need to work together in a spirit of national unity to ensure continued progress on the advancement of democracy and economic development to the benefit of the Georgian people and the entire region.”
The US stands with all Georgians in welcoming these historic elections, the statement said. “President Obama and his administration look forward to furthering our close co-operation and strong bilateral partnership with Georgia,” the state department said.
(Main photo: Rob Sinclair)