23 January 2021,   13:05
We call on all political actors to show responsibility, restraint and maturity, to respect the democratic choice of the electorate – MEPs

Members of the European Parliament - David McAllister, Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee; Marina Kaljurand, Chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the South Caucasus; Sven Mikser, the European Parliament’s standing rapporteur on Georgia; Viola von Cramon, the European Parliament’s lead member for democracy support activities in Georgia - issued a joint statement on the second round of elections held in Georgia on November 21.

“The second round of the parliamentary elections took place on Saturday in Georgia for the remainder of 17 seats still to be allocated under the majoritarian system.

Once again, we would like to congratulate Georgia, a key ally of the EU, on organizing these elections despite a challenging epidemiological context.

We stand by the evaluation by the OSCE/ODIHR, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the feedback from the European Diplomatic Watch, following the first round. After the second round, too, we expect a fair, transparent and thorough handling of all substantiated appeals and complaints.

As previously stated, this was a pivotal moment to assess the commitment of the Georgian authorities and of all political parties to uphold democratic processes and the rule of law.

We appreciate the fact that these elections took place under an improved electoral system, paving the way for a more pluralistic Parliament. However, we regret the fact that opposition candidates did not contest seats in the second round. We ask that remaining shortcomings be addressed through a new electoral reform addressing pending OSCE/ODIHR recommendations and through the active involvement of all political parties represented in Parliament.

The European Parliament remains ready to provide assistance, among others via parliamentary electoral dialogues and mediation between the Georgian political factions, so as to further improve relevant legislation ahead of future elections.

We call on all political actors to show responsibility, restraint and maturity, to respect the democratic choice of the electorate and to find the necessary compromises, notably through the new dialogue facilitated jointly by the EU and US Ambassadors to Georgia, in order to enable the smooth functioning of Parliament, an institution vital for democracy.

All the political forces represented in the newly elected Parliament must work now in a constructive fashion, keeping in mind the greater interest of Georgia’s chosen European path”, - reads the joint statement.