IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Free and fair elections in Georgia, and peaceful transition of power, applauded by Civil Society Forum
The Georgian parliamentary election held on October 1 2012 is a welcome development in the quest for free and fair elections in the Eastern Partnership states. The contest between government and opposition parties was confined, by and large, to the electoral process itself, giving citizens a peaceful way to express their views, and the outcome of the election was accepted by the losing side, with its leader appealing to Georgians to respect the result, said the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum in a statement issued on 9 October 2012. For the statement by the Forum's Georgian National Platform, see here.
For the first time in Georgia’s post-Soviet history, power is being transferred peacefully through an election whose results are not questioned by the competing parties. Thus Georgia’s voters and politicians have sent an important signal to other Eastern Partnership countries that it is possible to conduct free and fair elections. This is a development applauded by the Steering Committee of the Civil Society Forum.
An important part in the success of the election was played by both domestic and international observers. This underscores the need for elections in the Eastern Partnership countries, including presidential elections in Georgia in 2013, to be observed also by independent observers – such as the planned election taskforce of the Civil Society Forum.