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Georgia - Elections (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - October 2, 2012)

Q : My question relates to the legislative elections in Georgia which took place yesterday. The results are already clear; the opposition defeated Saakashvili’s government with 52% of the vote. What do you think about this somewhat tense election campaign, with acts of torture in the prisons and scandals involving the Georgian government?

In your view, what key errors did this government make and why did it lose?

A : Regarding the results of the election, I firstly want to underscore that we don’t have the final results. We look forward to receiving the assessment that will be made by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Even though we don’t yet have the final results, it seems that the legislative elections that have just taken place mark a turning point in the political life of Georgia. We feel that these elections were held without any major incidents and that they will, at any event, allow the opposition, for the first time in the country’s history, to become a significant force in parliament. We’ll come back to this issue once the results have been finalized and the OSCE has provided its assessment.

Some incidences of torture were indeed revealed a few days ago. We’ve already had the opportunity to indicate our position with respect to this issue, to express our very serious concern and to demand that the Georgian authorities shed full light on these acts which are absolutely unacceptable.

Regarding your third question, it hasn’t yet been confirmed that this government has lost, and as I said, we will wait for the final results. Furthermore, we will work, as is the norm, with the government that emerges from the elections. I shall refrain from giving any advice or making any judgment about the last few months or years.

Q : What do you think of the Georgian position? What position will you adopt with respect to the opposition?

A : But which opposition are you talking about? The opposition you’re talking about may no longer be the opposition. Again, until we have the final, official results, I won’t give an official response.


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