U.S. lawmakers say next Georgian elections 'critical'
|Publisher||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty|
|Publication Date||7 June 2012|
|Cite as||Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, U.S. lawmakers say next Georgian elections 'critical', 7 June 2012, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4fdb2f491a.html [accessed 16 September 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
June 07, 2012
WASHINGTON – Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives have described parliamentary elections in October and the 2013 presidential election in Georgia as "critical" for the country's democratic development.
Representative Howard Berman (California), the House Foreign Affairs Committee's top Democrat, said he was "concerned by efforts to prevent a prominent political opponent from running in the parliamentary election" – a reference to billionaire opposition leader Bidzina Ivanishvili.
Berman also decried "reported attempts to intimidate local opposition leaders, including denying them access to media."
The comments come after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on a June 5 visit to Georgia urged President Mikheil Saakashvili to ensure a "democratic transfer of power."
House lawmakers also approved a resolution reaffirming support for Georgia's territorial integrity, NATO aspirations, and democratic reforms made to date.