Saakashvili meets cabinet members in Lagodekhi, eastern region of Kakheti. Photo: President's press office.
Georgia has passed “the most difficult test in democracy” by holding “exemplary and peaceful” parliamentary elections, President Saakashvili said on May 29.
Speaking at a televised session of the government in Lagodekhi, eastern Georgia, Saakashvili also said that he planned to submit the cabinet for confidence vote to the newly elected parliament in June.
“I want to congratulate you and entire Georgia on holding of the May 21 parliamentary elections excellently,” Saakashvili told the ministers. “I can say without exaggeration that if not the entire world, at least one half of the world was watching closely these elections. The NATO Bucharest decisions have also mentioned about these elections. Hundreds of foreign observers have monitored the elections and all of them have pointed out – and then it was done at the foreign ministers’ and presidents’ level – that these elections were held peacefully, freely, in a highly disciplined manner. Georgia has passed the most difficult test in democracy.”
In its conclusion on the January 5 presidential election the OSCE/ODIHR-led international election observation mission said that it assessed “compliance of the [January 5 presidential] election process with OSCE commitments and other international standards for democratic elections.”
No judgment of this type was included in the preliminary statement of the OSCE-ODIHR-led international election observation mission assessing the May 21 parliamentary elections. It said, that “despite efforts to conduct elections in line with standards, a number of problems were identified which made their implementation uneven and incomplete.”
President Saakashvili also said that the Georgian voters had expressed “phenomenally great support” to the ruling party. The ruling National Movement Party has gained about 120 seats out of 150 in the new parliament.
”Many good things have already been done, but this support is mostly based on the responsibility which we have assumed, what we have promised our people and what we have to do in future. I repeat that we have still much to do,” Saakashvili added.
He also told the cabinet members that in June he planed to submit the government for confidence vote to the newly elected parliament.
“You know, that I have promised – although the constitution does not bind me – I will submit the government to the [new] parliament for approval, but I want you to know that the cabinet should put forth a serious program, 50-month serious program containing those issues, which we have promised to our people.”
“The government has already overcome the election period and passed the test excellently,” Saakashvili said. “Now, our task is to keep all those promises given to the people. People have trusted us and we should justify this trust. This is very important and you should spare no efforts for it. I understand that you all are very tired after the election campaign, but we have no time to be tired. Now it is time to put concrete results.”