US Congressmen Adam Kinzinger and Gerry Connolly have sent a letter to Georgian PM Giorgi Gakharia regarding the ongoing protests in Tbilisi, sparked by the rejection of the ruling Georgian Dream party proposed election bill on November 14.
The congressmen stated that since declaring independence in 1991, Georgia has developed a “strong democratic foundation and demonstrated a commitment to democratic values”, including free and fair elections.
That is why we were shocked to hear about the collapse of promised reforms in the Georgian parliament to move to a proportional electoral system. Georgia has been working on these reforms for years with the European Union and the Venice Commission. This commitment was made not only to the international community, but most importantly to the Georgian people. It is our hope that Georgian officials will resume negotiations immediately and pass this important reform package,” the letter reads.
As co-chairs of the House Georgia Caucus, @GerryConnolly and I sent this letter to the Georgian PM with concerns on the reported violence against peaceful protests over the political reforms that were promised to the Georgian people and to the international community. pic.twitter.com/b9AHSscbW4— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) December 16, 2019
The congressmen stated that while any government has the right to use lawful and proportionate force against violent unrest, democracies must respect the right of citizens to use peaceful means to express their views.
The news that hundreds of protestors, journalists, and political opposition leaders have been injured – and even hospitalised – by reportedly government-sanctioned violence is appalling,” the letter reads.
The congressmen stated that they are looking forward to working with the Georgian government to ensure that “Georgia’s democracy only grows stronger in the years to come."