Elections in Georgia and the Aftermath
Based on his experience as the Head of the OSCE/ODIHR Observation Mission for the presidential election in Georgia, the author shares some reflections on the trajectory of Georgia’s political development. In his assessment, the decisive factor for Georgian politics was the parliamentary election, a year before the October 2013 presidential election. The dramatic victory of the Georgian Dream coalition in 2012 meant that in the run up the presidential contest, the governing coalition enjoyed a high degree of public support, which was crucial for the election of coalition’s candidate as President. Further, the author believes that after the free and fair presidential election, Georgia is in need of external support to consolidate the rule of law. The upcoming 2014 local elections will present another test that, hopefully, will confirm this positive trend. In relation to this, the author refers to the emerging criminal allegations against the previous government following the 2012 parliamentary election: a concern for the country’s democratic development. He emphasizes the need for a national strategy that focuses not on immediate political gains but rather on long term, sustainable changes to the political and institutional culture.
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