Mediators Welcome Georgia’s Adoption of Changes on Electoral Reform

Heads of U.S., EU and German diplomatic missions in Georgia, who facilitated the political dialogue between the ruling Georgian Dream party and the opposition, issued a joint statement on June 29, congratulating the Georgian Parliament on today’s adoption of constitutional amendments over the electoral reform.

Recognizing that these amendments “reflect difficult compromises by Georgia’s political parties,” U.S. Ambassador Kelly Degnan, German Ambassador Hubert Knirsch and European Ambassador Carl Hartzell said they commend those “who ensured their successful passage.”

Noting the amendments aim to increase parliamentary pluralism and allow for a more representative legislature, the foreign diplomats “regret the non-participation of some parties due to differences” over the fulfilment of the March 8 agreement.

The Ambassadors called on all parties “to engage in the adoption and effective implementation” of the election reforms recommended by OSCE/ODIHR, adding that “these much-needed reforms will help ensure a free, fair, and transparent election environment where Georgians can cast their votes freely at the ballot box.”

“Upholding the commitments contained in the 8 March agreement to address actions that could be perceived as inappropriate politicization of Georgia’s judicial and electoral processes remains crucial to the integrity of the country’s democracy and rule of law, especially during this election period,” the joint statement reads.

The facilitators stressed that they will continue “to monitor closely these commitments in the run-up to the October elections,” adding that they would like all sides to respect their “role and integrity as facilitators” of this process.

With 117 votes in favor and 3 against, the Georgian Parliament endorsed constitutional amendments in a third and final round of voting earlier today, clearing the way for reforming the electoral system in the run-up to the parliamentary polls due in October.

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