President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Rik Daems deplored on November 20 “unsubstantiated attacks” by “certain political representatives in Georgia” against Tiny Kox, chairman of the PACE delegation observing October 31 elections in Georgia.
President Daems alluded to a statement by former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the exiled leader of the United National Movement party, who slammed Kox as “Russia’s agent” and accused him of being “on Russia’s payroll for 2 decades.”
PACE President underscored that Kox’s election statements – which triggered Saakashvili’s accusations – reflect the position of the PACE delegation and was made jointly with partners in the International Election Observation Mission.
“While anyone is free to disagree with their findings and conclusions, the integrity of the international observation mission cannot be questioned,” President Daems remarked, calling upon “all political stakeholders to refrain from such baseless allegations.”
Four international observation missions, including the PACE, the ODIHR LEOM, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, released a preliminary post-election statement on November 1, which, although critical of a set of specific elements of the election process, did not question the overall integrity of the October 31 elections in Georgia.