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U.S. Embassy Statement on Georgia’s Elections
Civil Georgia, Tbilisi / 11 Oct.'16 / 16:31

The U.S. embassy in Tbilisi said in a statement on Tuesday that the October 8 parliamentary elections were well-administered, which “largely respected fundamental freedoms.”

It has also called for a thorough investigation of “isolated cases of violence and intimidation.”

“The Embassy of the United States congratulates Georgia on competitive and well-administered elections, which largely respected fundamental freedoms on October 8, as assessed by the OSCE’s Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights,” it said.

“We also note that election day proceeded in an orderly manner but regret that tensions increased during the day and several violent incidents took place in polling stations.”

“We strongly condemn these isolated cases of violence and intimidation, and urge a thorough and balanced investigation of all incidents that respects the rule of law.”

“These elections are the first step in a process that will include further run-off contests [for majoritarian MP seats in single-mandate constituencies], and we urge all parties and their supporters to approach these elections in a calm and peaceful manner, and to address any electoral concerns in accordance with Georgian law,” the U.S. embassy said, adding that it will continue to monitor the process “closely, including the campaigning to come and run-off elections.”

Also on October 11, U.S. ambassador, Ian Kelly, reiterated when speaking with journalists in Tbilisi that the embassy “agrees with the assessment” of the international observers about the elections.

Asked about ongoing discussion within the opposition UNM party whether to boycott the new parliament and second round runoffs, the U.S. ambassador responded: “We very much support Georgia and its development and a very important part of this development, democratic development, is a multi-party pluralistic democracy.”

“I think, that the UNM ran a good campaign and they should feel proud of the campaign that they conducted and I would very much expect them to approach this situation in a calm and peaceful way and take their seats when the time comes,” the U.S. diplomat said.

“But, of course, we are still involved in the campaign right now.  We would hope they would compete as professionally as they did in the first round,” he added.

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