2016 Parliamentary Elections

International Observers: Elections Competitive but Marred by Violence

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Photo: OSCE

International election observer missions found yesterday’s parliamentary elections to have been competitive and well organised, but condemned incidents of pre-election violence as “unacceptable”.

At a press conference held earlier today, Ignacio Sanchez Amor of the OSCE described the vote as “strongly competitive” and “well-run” and his delegation found that voters were given the opportunity to make informed choices in a pluralistic if polarized media environment.  

Mr Amor added that, “The unacceptable isolated incidents of violence we’ve seen had an impact but, thankfully, did not undermine an otherwise positive election.”

Emanuelis Zingeris, head of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe delegation, also drew attention to issue of pre-election violence and intimidation:

“Yesterday’s parliamentary elections were competitive. Nevertheless, during the pre-election period, there was unacceptable behavior directed towards candidates and voters. Such behavior should never happen. Moreover, there was a substantial imbalance in the funding parties were able to raise, leading to unequal opportunities”.

The NATO delegation found that whilst Georgia has some way to go, the country has “proved its status as a leader of democratic transformation in the region”.

The European Parliament delegation added, “It’s the responsibility of all political actors, but those with the authority should do everything in their hands in order to extinguish the violence and take into account civil society and media.”

The observers found the electoral commission to have worked efficiently and that there was a high level of public trust in the Central Electoral Commission.

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