Tbilisi. On 2 October, local elections took place in Georgia. The European Union commends the Georgian citizens for exercising their democratic right to vote in these elections, as well as the dedicated electoral staff and observers, considering the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome the fact that a full-fledged International Election Observation Mission was deployed.
“This mission concluded that the elections were generally well administered – though characterised by hardened polarisation –, that contestants were able to campaign freely in a competitive environment, and that the Election Day proceeded in an orderly and transparent manner. It also highlighted important shortcomings, notably widespread and consistent allegations of intimidation, vote-buying, pressure on candidates and voters and an unlevel playing field. In addition, the significant imbalance in resources and an undue advantage of incumbency further benefited the ruling party. Underrepresentation of women in the campaign demonstrates a need for greater commitment to ensure adequate representation in politics”.