PACE urges all Georgian political parties to enter parliament ‘not to undermine its democratic functioning’

  • PACE adopted its annual report yesterday. Photo: PACE., 26 Jan 2021 - 11:48, Tbilisi,Georgia

The annual report of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) says that it is ‘regrettable’ that Georgian opposition MPs refuse to take up their parliamentary mandates, adding that ‘in the best interest of the country all political parties are urged to take up their parliamentary mandates.’ 

Regrettably the Georgian opposition parties, alleging widespread fraud, announced that they would boycott the second round of elections (in November 2020) and the new parliament. This is especially regrettable given that the results for opposition parties in these elections would give them a strong position to execute parliamentary oversight. Parliament is the place for the conduct of politics and debate and PACE has therefore consistently opposed parliamentary boycotts,” reads the report which was adopted yesterday. 

The report cited local and international observers as saying that the 2020 parliamentary elections in Georgia ‘were competitive with fundamental freedoms respected’ and that parties could campaign freely. 

Only four of 60 opposition MPs have entered parliament so far. Photo: Nino Alavidze/Agenda,ge. 

At the same time, they (observers) noted an uneven playing field as a result of the abuse of administrative resources and a blurring of the line between State and ruling party,” said the report. 

PACE urged the Georgian government to 'fully and transparently investigate' all allegations of electoral misconduct during the October 2020 parliamentary elections and urged all political parties to take up the seats they won in the new parliament and 'not to undermine its democratic functioning.' 

The report also said that the situation around the de facto occupied Georgian regions of Tskhinvali and Abkhazia ‘has continued to deteriorate, as the creeping annexation of these regions by Russia continues unabated, which is of serious concern’. 

The PACE annual report covered monitoring activities of 2020 in eleven countries, including Georgia.