US Ambassador Degnan says Georgia’s parliamentary elections should be fair, transparent, free

The US Ambassador said there is ‘an expectation’ that this year’s elections will be ‘better than the previous’ ones. Photo: US Embassy to Georgia/Facebook, 23 Sep 2020 - 21:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

United States Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan said it is important to ensure that the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia be held in a fair, transparent and free environment.

Ambassador Degnan said that political temperature is usually high in election period, therefore she hailed political parties for signing the code of conduct elaborated by the Central Election Commission (CEC) with support of its international partners.

 It was very pleasant to see that they not only signed the document, but the leaders were involved in the process of drafting the document. They developed certain ethical standards. It will be unfortunate if intimidation of voters and misuse of administrative resources are observed”, Kelly Degnan said earlier today.

She added as well that direct communication between decision makers in the US and representatives of the Georgian government is of utmost importance.

The embassy is one of the sources of communication with Georgia, however, it is important and very useful when there is a direct channel between US decision makers and Georgian officials to discuss many important issues, such as the occupied territories, Russian aggression, COVID 19, as well as enhancement of cooperation”, she said.

The code of conduct for political parties is 'a set of norms of voluntary ethics aimed at protecting democratic values and fundamental freedoms; conduct of a substantive, program-oriented, inclusive election campaign that provides equal opportunities for electoral stakeholders'.

Meanwhile, the CEC has set safety guidelines for the upcoming parliamentary elections on October 31 following consultations with political parties and monitoring organisations, while special police groups will be created in Georgian regions to ensure the parliamentary elections be held in a free and safe environment.