Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili (left), Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava (center) and U.S. Ambassador John Bass at a signing ceremony of USD 1 million U.S.-funded project aimed at correcting addressing in Tbilisi, January 18. Photo: InterPressNews
The U.S. is committed to supporting Georgia in creating “the most competitive possible” and the “fairest possible campaign environment” for the parliamentary elections later this year, John Bass, the U.S. ambassador to Tbilisi, said on January 18.
He made the remarks while speaking with reporters after a signing ceremony of USD 1 million U.S.-funded project aimed at correcting addressing in Tbilisi. 474,000 units are expected to be mapped and approximately 1.2 million registered individuals to be assigned to physical addresses in frames of the project in the capital city. The project is financed as part of the USD 16 million U.S.-funded good governance program that aims at improving transparency and institutional efficiency at all levels of government.
The U.S. ambassador said that tying individual residents to specific addresses was important for number of reasons ranging from easing for emergency services to find specific locations to improving voter registry especially ahead of the parliamentary elections in October.
He said the project would help “to resolve some ongoing concerns and potential discrepancies, perceptions of discrepancies that exist with regard to voter list here in Tbilisi.”
“This is part of our ongoing commitment to support the people of this country in creating the best possible, the most competitive possible, fairest possible campaign environment for the upcoming parliamentary elections later this year,” Ambassador Bass said.
Justice Minister Zurab Adeishvili and Tbilisi Mayor Gigi Ugulava were present at the signing ceremony of the memorandum with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“It is important to genuinely create – and not only in words – a good electoral environment and making a precise [addressing] registry is a precondition for that,” Gigi Ugulava, the Tbilisi mayor, said.
Justice Minister, Zurab Adeishvili, said that the project was important as it would help to eradicate “duplication” of street names. “This is important both from the political and economic point of view,” he said.