Georgia’s Ruling Party, Opposition on Freedom House’s Nations in Transit Report

Georgia’s ruling and opposition parties have assessed a recent country-by-country report of the U.S.-based rights watchdog Freedom House, according to which Georgia’s democracy score has worsened over the previous year.

Civil Georgia offers a compilation of these assessments:

Anri Okhanashvili, Georgian Dream MP: “It is strange that a certain tendency included in the Freedom House report goes against official statements made by the U.S. Embassy to Georgia and the European Union concerning our judicial reforms. According to the U.S. Embassy and the European Union, reforms implemented by Georgian Dream, in particular, the fourth wave of judicial reform has been assessed as an important step towards more independence, more development and more transparency in the judiciary.”

Tina Bokuchava, United National Movement MP: “It is no surprise that Georgia’s indicators have declined in the Freedom House report. There are specific reasons for it and these reasons have been named in the report. One of them is the use of judiciary for political purposes that [Georgian Dream leader] Bidzina Ivanishvili constantly does against political opponents and second, the fact that Ivanishvili did not adopt constitutional amendments on transition to fully proportional electoral system.”

Davit Bakradze, European Georgia MP: “The part of the report related to political persecution and judiciary is of special importance. The report clearly states that the judiciary fully depends on the government and the courts are composed under this principle. It is especially important that the report mentions Gigi Ugulava [former Tbilisi Mayor], Mamuka Khazaradze and the [political] climate created by persecution of political opponents through subordinated courts.”

Eka Beselia, independent MP: “The report clearly shows that the judiciary is not independent today and that the ruling party exerts influence on it.”

Ana Natsvlishvili, Lelo for Georgia: “According to the report, Georgia is not governned by [the rule of] law and the authorities, especially judicial authorities have been seized and subordinated to political interests. The report also focuses on the case of founders of Lelo movement, as well as the cases of other politically active persons. The government uses justice for persecution of political opponents.”

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


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