EU-Georgia Parliamentary Committee flags up important issues connected with the forthcoming elections.

The EU flag flies outside the building of the Georgian Parliament in Tbilisi.

The 14th EU-Georgia Parliamentary Co-operation Committee met in Tbilisi on 2-3 May 2012 under the Chairmanship of David Darchiashvili, representing the Georgian Parliament and Milan Cabrnoch representing the European Parliament. The meeting approved a document entitled “Final Statement and Recommendations, pursuant to Article 89 of the EU-Georgia Partnership and Cooperation Agreement” which includes 37 articles covering a range of issues.

Several articles relate to the forthcoming elections and electoral processes.   The document

“welcomes the efforts made in 2011 by the Georgian political parties and representatives of the civil society to contribute to improving the electoral system in the country, which is meant to improve the internal coherence of the electoral legislation leading potentially to a more pluralistic and balanced composition of the parliament after the 2012 elections; takes note of the adoption of the amendments to the Law on Political Unions of Citizens in December 2011; also takes note of the complaints of various stakeholders against the provisions of the law concerning the financing of political parties and the role of the Georgian Chamber of Control in monitoring the financial activities of the political parties meant to ensure transparency in this respect; welcomes the recent initiative of the Georgian government in cooperation with civil society to prepare amendments to the law, which should strengthen the necessary conditions for an equal political playing field and allow for a fair political competition in future elections”.

The document puts the spotlight on Georgia’s problematic voters list. It highlights the importance of a proper electoral process and, in this regard, calls on the Georgian government to continue with its efforts to ensure the accuracy of the voters lists and asks the EU Delegation in Tbilisi to include this in the focus of its work in the next year. The document from the 14th EU Georgia Parliamentary and Co-operation Committee also puts its fingers on an issue that many feel constitutes a serious problem in Georgia’s electoral process, namely the big difference in standards between what happens in Tbilisi and what happens outside the capital. The document

“stresses the importance of an equal level of transparency and accountability in the different regions of Georgia and calls for particular attention to ensure that the electoral process in areas compactly inhabited by minority groups is equal to that of Tbilisi and other areas.” Finally it “notes the welcoming by the Georgian government of comprehensive domestic and international monitoring of the elections; asks the Georgian government and the election authorities – at national and constituency level – to extend full cooperation to election monitors and not to hinder their activity.”

Source: CEW