World media on Georgia’s elections:
‘standard-bearer for democracy in the region’

  • Overall various news outlets evaluated the Parliamentary Elections in Georgia as a success for a country that had proven its democracy and freedom. Photo by N.Alavidze/Agenda.ge.
Agenda.ge, 9 Oct 2016 - 18:08, Tbilisi,Georgia

The October 8 Parliamentary Elections of Georgia is in focus of international media.

Different newspapers and media agencies around the world are covering Georgia's elections and giving a general overview of the whole electoral process and post-election period.

Various international media published results of the two exit polls released in Georgia – one by research company GfK and a second by TNS – both of which show victory for ruling Georgian Dream party.

The coverage also noted the somewhat surprise success of "pro-Russian party” Alliance of Patriots who looked set to overcome the five percent threshold and "could enter parliament for the first time in Georgia’s post-Soviet history”.

The the August 2008 war between Russia and Georgia was also noted by international media; they said Russian tension was still evident in Georgia but the country was striving for European and NATO integration.

Overall various news outlets evaluated the Parliamentary Elections in Georgia as a success for a country that had proven its democracy and freedom.

Below are some of the comments made in international media:

Bloomberg: "Georgian Dream Wins Parliamentary Election, Exit Poll Shows"

Bloomberg discussed Georgia's dynamic business environment and said Georgia’s Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili bet on his business-friendly reputation to sway voters.

He’s forecast economic growth averaging seven percent to eight percent a year to 2026, more than double the present rate, as infrastructure improvements particularly in transport and tourism draw in foreign investment,” said Bloomberg.

ABC: "Exit Polls: Georgian Ruling Party Leads Parliamentary Vote"

Meanwhile, ABC said regardless of the election outcome, the former Soviet republic appeared determined to integrate more closely with the West, including keeping alive distant hopes of joining the European Union (EU) and NATO.

Enthusiasm among the electorate was low; just 51 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, according to the national elections commission,” said ABC.

France 24: "Ruling Georgian Dream party leads Georgia vote: exit polls"

France 24 also published news about Georgia’s elections that said "the ruling Georgian Dream party leads Georgia's parliamentary elections, two rival exit polls commissioned by a pro-government and a pro-opposition TV stations said Saturday”.

Daily Mail: "Ruling Georgian Dream party wins parliament vote in ex-Soviet Georgia - exit polls"

The UK's Daily Mail said the "election is seen as a test of stability in a country criss-crossed by strategically important oil and gas pipelines and traditionally buffeted between Russia and the West”.

Reuters: "Ruling party in Georgia wins election - partial results"

Reuters stated "the ruling party in Georgia was on track for a comfortable win in parliamentary elections seen as a test of political stability in the former Soviet nation, partial results showed on Sunday”.

With political stability still fragile -- the first peaceful transfer of power since the 1991 Soviet collapse only took place four years ago - the authorities are keen the election be widely seen as free and fair to avoid a return to the days when politicians tried to seize power by force,” said Reuters

Reuters noted Georgian Dream was pro-Western but also favoured closer ties with Russia.

BBC: "Georgia governing party claims poll victory"

Leading UK news outlet BBC said in a region of predominantly authoritarian states, "it is seen a post-Soviet success story with a multi-party democracy”.

More than 20 political parties competed for seats in the assembly in Saturday's elections seen as a test of stability for the former Soviet republic. The exit polls also suggested that a pro-Russian party could enter parliament for the first time in Georgia's post-Soviet history,” said the news agency.

Financia Times: "Georgia’s ruling party leads exit polls in parliamentary elections"

Meanwhile, the Financial Times said Georgia's October 8 parliamentary results confirmed the country's status as a "standard-bearer for democracy in the region".

The author of the Financial Times piece explained the complete picture on the composition of the new Georgian Parliament would only become clear in several weeks time due to run-off stages likely to be held to determine final results in majoritarian vote.

AFP: "Ruling party wins Georgia vote, opposition alleges fraud"

Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse (AFP) said "Georgia's Western allies were watching closely to see if the strategic nation -- praised as a rare example of democracy in the former Soviet region -- can cement gains after its first transfer of power at the ballot box four years ago”.

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