US Department of State says Georgian presidential elections went ‘smoothly’, with irregularities

US Department of State official commented on Georgian presidential elections.Photo:Alex Wong/Getty Images., 05 Dec 2018 - 16:23, Tbilisi,Georgia

The US Department of State says that the 28 November Georgian presidential elections went smoothly, but some irregularities took place and should be addressed by the Georgian government.

And we are happy to see that the presidential elections went off as smoothly as they did. We are concerned about numerous irregularities that we saw in those elections but are very watchful now in how the Georgians implement their new constitution, and I think the early part of next year will be a test for democratic institutions in Georgia,” the US Department of State official said yesterday when commenting on  NATO Foreign Ministerial issues.

He also stated that the US stands by the Bucharest 2008 declaration affirming that Georgia has a future in NATO.

Georgia has made tremendous strides in reform, particularly in the defense sector, is an outsized contributor to international security missions, so our policy position has not changed,” the US Department of State senior official said.

The Georgian opposition have stated that the US was “alarmed” by the developments during the Georgian elections.

Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani responded that the US Department of State did not say that they were alarmed by the elections.

The US Department of State official stated that the elections were conducted smoothly and that various violations took place.

The Georgian parliament and the government members have already stated that the violations  will be addressed as soon as possible and all remarks made about the elections by the Georgian allies will be taken into account,” Zalkaliani said.

He said that Georgia received “no negative remarks” during the NATO ministerial but was instead only praised for its reforms and achievements.

The statement of the US State Secretary made about Georgia also confirm this,” Zalkalinai said.

Presidential candidate Salome Zurabishvili, who ran as an independent but was endorsed by the ruling Georgian Dream party, won the presidential race, defeating the candidate of the United National Movement opposition party.