skip to content

Opposition Parties Plead to the U.S. Congress to Commit Resources for Election Monitoring in Georgia

In a letter to U.S. Congressman Joe Wilson, the initiator of the MEGOBATI Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Georgian opposition parties plead with the U.S. Congress “to commit necessary human and financial resources to ensure due electoral observation for the October parliamentary elections in Georgia,” stressing that “the stakes are high and our Euro-Atlantic future hangs in balance at a historic crossroads.”

The letter begins by expressing “deep gratitude” to U.S. Rep. Wilson for introducing the Mobilizing and Enhancing Georgia’s Options for Building Accountability, Resilience and Independence (MEGOBARI) Act, which envisages sanctions on Georgian officials responsible for undermining Georgia’s democracy and tasks relevant U.S. government agencies to report to Congress on improper influence and sanctions evasion, as well as Russian intelligence assets in Georgia. “We are grateful for the strong support of the American people to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as our ongoing struggle to defend our democracy and Euro-Atlantic trajectory,” the letter reads.

The letter stresses the will of the “overwhelming majority” of the Georgian people for the country’s integration into the EU and NATO, as well as for a strong strategic partnership with the U.S. It notes that the Georgian government has threatened this course by reintroducing the Kremlin-inspired Foreign Agents law, but adds that the people have “steadfastly” defended this course. The signatories mention the ongoing popular protests against the Foreign Agents Law, noting the escalating “widespread campaign of intimidation and terror against peaceful citizens of Georgia” against this backdrop.

The opposition parties say that the Georgian government has not only shifted its course toward authoritarianism, but has also become “subservient” to other authoritarian regimes, citing the awarding of the Anaklia Deep Sea Port project to Chinese government-linked companies “after having essentially chased American investors out of the country.” The letter says: “Such moves disincentivize any potential investment from non-malign actors and significantly threaten Georgia’s economic and political resilience.”

The signatories “greatly appreciate” Congressman Wilson’s leadership in garnering bipartisan support for the MEGOBARI Act, which they say is “offering the Georgian people a meaningful strengthening of our bilateral relationship.” “We are grateful that robust support from the United States to Georgia by facilitating democratic transformation would entail deepening preferential trade arrangements and enhancing ties, as well as facilitating visa liberalization for Georgian citizens,” the signatories state, adding that they also welcome the possibility to deepen cooperation in the defense and security sectors. “We also recognize and deeply appreciate the support committed to defend democracy and civil society on a bipartisan basis from members of the Senate,” the letter adds.

The signatories express their hope that the legislation will be passed quickly, stating that “only such legislation that ensures swift action, imposing specific consequences for those that undermine Georgia’s democracy and engage in gross human rights violations, can have the potential of reversing this dangerous course and signal to the Georgian people that the United States stands by them in their commitment to democracy and a Euro-Atlantic future.”

Noting that Georgia is nearing a “critical point” of parliamentary elections and that citizens are facing “unprecedented pressure and violence” during this period, the signatories say write they would welcome support from Georgia’s partners, including personal visits, “aimed at safeguarding Georgia’s democracy.” “We believe Congressional Delegation visits to Georgia would have great impact in supporting the resilient, freedom-loving people of Georgia and in sending a strong signal to the government of Georgia that the voice of people cannot be forcefully silenced,” the letter says, adding that in this context, they also plead to the U.S. Congress “to commit necessary human and financial resources to ensure due electoral observation…”

The following parties sign the letter: Citizens, Euro-optimists, For a National and Democratic State, For Georgia, Freedom, Girchi, Lelo – Partnership for Georgia, Reform Group, United National Movement and Strategy Aghmashenebeli, Ahali, Girchi-More Freedom, Droa, and Republican Party, as well as six independent MPs: Armaz Akhvlediani, Davit Bakradze, Tamar Charkviani, Tamar Kordzaia, Salome Samadashvili, and Shalva Shavgulidze.

Also Read:

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


Back to top button