Debate on the observation of the municipal elections in Georgia (30 May 2010)
The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted on 28 October 2010 a Report, a Resolution and a Recommendation following a debate on the municipal elections held in Georgia on 30 May 2010. The Report, presented by Günther Krug (Germany, SOC), was the result of an election observation mission of the Congress, with the participation of the EU Committee of the Regions.

Speakers at the debate
Günther Krug (Germany, SOC)Günther Krug (Germany, SOC), Congress rapporteur introduced the debate on the report which concludes that the municipal elections - which comprised the first direct election of the Mayor of Tbilisi - have shown evident progress towards meeting European standards. However, a number of shortcomings in the election environment remains to be tackled in order to consolidate progress and enhance public trust before the next national elections in Georgia. The Congress delegation pointed out intimidation and bullying tactics, misuse of administrative resources for campaign purposes and deficiences in the legal framework.

Sharon Taylor, member of the EU Committee of the RegionsSharon Taylor, member of the EU Committee of the Regions : “There was a strong will at national level to ensure that the elections were conducted properly”. Sharon Taylor noted the work of the Central Election Commission, the professionalism of the local polling teams as well as pro-active efforts made by the authorities to address problems during the elections. However, she pointed out several failings that need to be tackled.

George Ugulava, Mayor of Tbilisi George Ugulava, newly elected Mayor of Tbilisi, stressed that the Congress’ delegation witnessed the foundation of culture of political dialogue being laid in Georgia, which replaced confrontation and mistrust among the contenders. He pointed out the unique character of the Tbilisi Mayor’s election which, for the first time, was direct and preceded by open television debates between the candidates. George Ugulava acknowledged that the existing electoral legislation had to be improved ahead of the 2012 general elections, and pointed out that the country’s new Constitution, adopted on 15 October, included a provision on local self-government.

Video of the debate

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