TBILISI, DFWatch – A delegation from the OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) which is in Georgia to observe the election says Georgia’s law enforcement bodies lack objectivity.
The observers mainly criticize the State Audit Office, saying they act on the basis of unclear instructions. But the observers also have issues with the court, which they also say acts on the basis of unclear and biased instructions.
Not only do the observers criticize the lack of objectivity, but they also point out a polarization in society and even signs of Leninism in the election campaign.
The delegation hopes that Georgia’s government will ensure trust worthy elections.
The Parliamentary Assembly delegation released a statement after a three-day working visit to Georgia, which started August 20.
Vice President of PACE, Tonino Picula, who is head of the election observation mission, as well as Assembly Secretary General Spencer Oliver are among the PACE delegation. They held meetings with the government, opposition, Central Election Commission and non-government organizations.
The delegation members made their first statement on Wednesday after meeting with the Speaker of Parliament Davit Bakradze, at which they talked about the achievements so far and problems observed in the country during the election period.
Picula remarked that improvements are observed in specific institutions by recommendations from international organizations, but he said there still are problems.
Picula said one of the problems is the lack of objectivity in the actions of law enforcement bodies, mainly by the State Audit Office, which is overseeing and cracking down on violations of the new strict rules on campaign financing.
The second subject for concern is the courts. The delegation members say they want to see it acting under clear and objective instructions and neutral interference in each case. There is enough time to solve these problems, as they see it.
Tonino Picula says he may be mistaken, but political competitors, officials and the opposition do not share common values.
Riccardo Migliori, PACE President, sees signs of Leninism in the election campaign in Georgia.
He says the goal of these tendencies is to destroy enemies and not to introduce election program. There are no enemies in this society, Migliori says, adding that it is important that parties present their own election program and ideas to the people.
Picula explained that they are analyzing the situation of the media as well, as well as the situation between the government and NGOs, and between political parties.
The delegation’s statement released on Thursday welcomes the efforts directed at providing an accurate voters’ list, for campaign financing transparency and access to media all over the country.
But among the problems are named political polarization, and actions by law enforcement bodies. The delegation says the State Audit Office is using its arbitrary authority to define the legality of party or individual spending. The agency is making suspicious decisions and applies strict fines without clear or transparent instructions. Fines are not proportionate and are clearly selectively used, mainly against one political subject, Tonino Picula says.
The statement also says that all parties should respect and accept the election results. The delegation hopes the government will ensure trustworthy elections and equal conditions for each party so that voters can make a free and informed choice on Election Day.
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