On November 16, the International Republican Institute (IRI) released its interim report on the October 31 parliamentary elections, stating that “the spirit of the reforms, aimed at encouraging multiparty democracy and coalition rule, were affected by credible reports of irregularities in the campaign period and Election Day.”
Politicians from the ruling Georgian Dream and the opposition parties expressed mixed reactions to the document.
Mamuka Mdinaradze, Incumbent Deputy Speaker of the Parliament:
“I would like to remind you one more time that every international observation mission […] that had observers and representatives deployed to monitor the election process, evaluated the elections as competitive and free. This is the key. Now, of course, there can be some other [IRI] report based on the report of some subjective Georgian organization; making it subjective too. It is most important that our international partners recognized that Georgia conducted competitive and free elections” on October 31.
MP Tinatin Bokuchava, the United National Movement: “The IRI report was extremely harsh, and of course, such an assessment was to be expected. As local NGOs with a very high reputation said, these were the worst elections ever conducted by the Georgian Dream; this was a step backwards; these elections did not meet democratic standards. And, of course, we are hearing precisely the same types of evaluations from international monitoring organizations.”
MP Davit Bakradze, European Georgia Chairman: “The main conclusion of this report is that the parliamentary elections failed to meet essential standards. This is the harshest evaluation […] and it clearly indicates the changes occurring in the position of our international partners over time… As more information becomes available to our international partners, the more critical international opinion will become against Ivanishvili’s [GD Chairman] government.”