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EU Envoy Comments on State of Emergency in Georgia

The state of emergency imposed in Georgia ?seem to be quite far-reaching? in contrast to the challenges posed by the November 7 unrest in Tbilisi, Peter Semneby, the EU special envoy, said at a news conference in Tbilisi.

The Georgian leadership has claimed that the country was facing a threat to constitutional order, which compelled it to declare a state of emergency. The unrest was, according to the authorities, part of a planned attempt by ?the radical political opposition,? supported by Russian intelligence services and financed by business tycoon Badri Patarkatsishvili, to destabilize the country and overthrow the government.

?I do not want to go too far into this and I do not want to go into the issue of whether there was any serious threat to the state and so on, at least as long as I have not seen solid evidence,? Semneby said.

He said that in the short term, recent developments in Georgia had ?obviously been a distraction from the normal agenda of relations between Georgia and the European Union.?

?But I do not want to speculate on the long-term effect,? Semneby said. ?I would rather say that if presidential elections are carried out successfully, there should not be any lasting damage to these relations.?

He refused to predict on how fair or democratic the elections might be, but did say that there were ?serious challenges? considering the tight time frame involved. Early polls are expected to be held on January 5. He said that this also posed a challenge for the international community in terms of observing, not only the actual polling day, but the election campaign as well.

This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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