U.S. Embassy in Georgia: electoral irregularities not enough to invalidate results
Voter intimidation and bribery is damaging to the election process, but it is not enough to declare the elections illegitimate, the US Embassy in Georgia said in a November 1 statement regarding the October 31 parliamentary elections.
The US Embassy says it shares the OSCE / ODIHR’s first assessment that “the parliamentary elections in Georgia were held in a competitive environment and with respect for fundamental freedoms in general.” However, widespread accusations of pressure on voters have eroded public confidence.
The embassy calls on all parties to take these shortcomings into account in the second round and subsequent elections.
“Attempts to disrupt the electoral process: intimidation of voters, bribery, violation of the secrecy of the vote, blurred separation of party and official activities and violence against election observers and journalists, although insufficient to recognize the results as illegitimate, nevertheless continue to undermine the electoral process in Georgia and are unacceptable”, the statement says.
The diplomatic department calls on state bodies to investigate violations, and citizens to “be patient” so that this process can proceed peacefully and with respect, in accordance with Georgian legislation and international standards and practice.