TBILISI, DFWatch — NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly criticizes the new government for putting pressure on the public broadcaster and local government and asks it to refrain from politically motivated arrests.
The resolution was passed Monday in Prague at the 58. annual meeting, and bears the title ‘Future of Democracy in the Eastern Neighborhood’.
The assembly commends ‘recent democratic parliamentary elections in Georgia regarded as a litmus test for Georgia’s democratic development and commending the first ever electoral transfer of power in that country.’
But the resolution is also critical towards the new government. The assembly calls on the government and president to continue the reforms and ensure effective cohabitation until the presidential election, which is scheduled for October 2013.
“[The Assembly] EXPRESSES CONCERN over the reported pressure on local self-government institutions and particularly the Georgian Public Broadcaster and CALLS UPON the new Government of Georgia to refrain from politically motivated arrests,” the statement reads.
This is a response to a recent unscheduled audit of Georgian Public Broadcaster, which by some is claimed to be interference in the broadcaster’s editorial work. It also refers to incidents seen in regions of Georgia outside Tbilisi, where officials from Saakashvili’s party have been subject to pressure by activists from the Georgian Dream coalition.
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Monday also expressed concern over the detention of a former minister and two military officers for abuse of power. The National Movement party of President Saakashvili has claimed that the cases are politically motivated.