Georgia goes to polls tomorrow; highest democratic standards to be upheld following free and fair electoral campaign Print Version

Tbilisi, 07 October 2016 - With one day to go before Georgian citizens go to the polls to elect their parliamentarians, the Georgian Government today applauded the quality of the election preparation, including the electoral campaigns, which have widely been conducted to the highest international standards.
 
Georgia's Central Election Commission has recorded more than 3.5 million Georgian citizens who have registered to vote in this year's parliamentary elections - the civic engagement and enthusiasm for the vote is another important sign of Georgia's consolidated democracy.
 
"These elections will mark a truly important step to the future of democratic Georgia. First of all, I would like to encourage voters to attend the elections and vote for the even better, European future of Georgia," said Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili ahead of the vote.
Speaking of the electoral environment he stressed his conviction that the Ministry of Internal Affairs would "spare no effort to ensure peaceful, free elections in Georgia and to protect every vote."
 
This follows three months of campaigning which have taken place in a markedly improved environment compared to the previous elections in 2012. Pre-electoral observation delegations which visited the country in the days before the vote have qualified the campaigning as healthy, with international organisations such as Council of Europe's PACE, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and EU/UNDP-sponsored project MediaMonitor.ge all hailing the pluralistic, sound and ethical political and media landscape.
 
The Prime Minister expressed again his profound sadness at the explosion of the car of Member of "United National Movement" Givi Targamadze which happened earlier this week but stressed that it would not shadow the pre-electoral environment. "I also believe that the residents of Georgia value the important steps taken throughout the recent years in the process of building a democratic state," the Prime Minister added.
 
The Government of Georgia has taken important steps since 2012 to align the Georgian elections with recommendations from the OSCE/ODIHR-Venice Commission. These include measures to ensure fair representation such as establishing a regional proportional system and proportionally redrawing electoral districts; raising the voting threshold for majoritarian seats from 30% to 50% (in compliance with the 2002 Council of Europe Code of Good Practice); incentivising gender-balanced electoral lists; and measures to increase transparency such as ensuring that state resources are not used for electoral purposes and upgrading electoral lists to prevent fraud.
 
Since the Georgian Dream Coalition came to power in 2012, Georgia has, for the first time in its history, held two national polls judged free and fair by several international observers invited to scrutinize the pre-election environment and the vote.These successes came in the context of the deep democratic reforms that the Government has implemented over the last four years - you can find an updated overview here: http://gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=ENG&sec_id=288&info_id=57981