The Georgian Parliament yesterday adopted the election reform package, which was the result of a process that started more than one year ago and which the EU Delegation has actively supported. I welcome the legislative improvements made in line with OSCE/ODIHR recommendations, including the regulation of campaigning rights of budget sector employees, defined regulations for second rounds, the promotion of women’s representation, the improvement of conflict of interest rules for election commission members, and the introduction of a regressive party finance model.
I would have hoped to see more ambitious reforms, including in key areas recommended by OSCE/ODIHR such as voter intimidation, dispute resolution and commission compositions, and regret that the opportunity was missed to win a broader political support behind the new election legislation.
The upcoming parliamentary elections will be a pivotal moment to assess Georgia’s commitment to upholding democratic processes and the rule of law. I next look forward to seeing the new rules implemented and the further preparations for the elections get underway. The European Union stands ready to continue assisting Georgia in achieving its objective to hold elections of the highest democratic standards this autumn.