The situation in Georgia has been discussed at the sitting of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs in Brussels today.
Sandra Kalniet, a member of the European People’s Party, has criticized the Georgian government for failing to fulfill its promise on transformation onto the proportional system of elections for 2020 parliamentary polls.
“You have just said that support for Georgia’s European integration is on the rise, but the same opinion polls show that the Georgian people think that democracy is degrading in the country, and this is very worrying. There was a statement by Ivanishvili, chairman of the Georgian Dream, that many opposition leaders will go to jail in the future, something that is very difficult to accept. And the fact that the investigation against Giga Bokeria, the leader of European Georgia, was launched after a five-year silence, is very symbolic,” – the MEP said.
According to Estonian MEP Sven Mikser, it was the Georgian government that proposed a constitutional amendment according to which elections would be held in a proportional system in 2024. He also hoped that the dialogue between political forces in Georgia would be successful.
MEP Anna Fotyga, focused on June 2019 protests in Georgia and said that the demonstrations began after a Russian lawmaker came to parliament with the Georgian government’s consent.
Member of European Parliament Mark Gahle expressed support for Georgia’s European integration course, but at the same time called on the Georgian government to deliver on its promise.
“I think today you are trying to sell the failure of the electoral system as a high level inter-party democracy in the Georgian Dream. As far as we know, several members have left the Georgian Dream. Please say honestly, Mr Ivanishvili was talking about changes to the electoral system, though he was planning to ruin all this behind the scenes, wasn’t he? If you are really Europeans, admit it,” – Gahler said.
According to MEP, a member of the European People’s Party, Rasa Jukneviciene this year is very important for Georgia.
“This year will be a test of democracy for Georgia. We are concerned about whether the ruling party will pass the test of democracy or not. I’m sorry to say this, but I feel bad when a representative of the ruling party speaks or complains about bad opposition. These are not the rules of democracy. When we see an attack on the opposition, NGOs, the media, opponents, it does not help Georgia find new friends in the European Parliament,” the MEP said.
MEP Andrius Kubilius also addressed the members of Georgian delegation. “I would like to ask you to convey a very simple message to your party leaders. They promised me that the dialogue would work and that there would be proportional elements in the electoral system. So tell them that I am still waiting for this result, because international confidence in your election will be very limited without this”, – he said.