Presidential Elections in Georgia Meet Standards of Democracy: Lincoln Mitchell
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend A.Gasimova / The Presidential elections in Georgia on 5 January met standards of democracy, said the US expert Lincoln Mitchell.
"The election reports by ODIHR, ISFED and other similar groups can speak to this better than I can," Lincoln Mitchell, Columbia University's expert for Georgia, reported to Trend by telephone on 8 January.
The presidential election in Georgia was held completely in democratic conditions although there were revealed some facts of violation. The head of the PACE delegation Matias Yorsh stated to Trend agency that the election in Georgia met all international standards and created condition to Georgian population to hold elections democratically.
"However, as most of the reports handed out the pre-election context was not terrribly conducive to a completely democratic election. Moreover, while fraud on election day, according to the reports, was not widespread or systematic, Saakashvili only avoided a runoff by a few points, so this provides fodder for those who would criticize the election. Both sides will benefit from moving on at this point," he said.
According to him, the demonstrations are not prima facie, destabilizing. In democratic countries, people have the right to assemble and give voice to their anger and discontent. "Having said that, the opposition would be well served to demonstrate for a few days and then move on. Similarly, the government would be well served by redoubling their efforts to bring pluralism and democracy to Georgia," he said.
The early Presidential elections took place in Georgia on 5 January. According to data from the Central Election Commission of Georgia, from the votes of 3 070 out of 3512 polling stations, Mikhail Saakashvili, gained 52.1% of votes and the candidate from the combined opposition, Levan Gachechiladze, gained 24.98% (442,478 votes).
According to the early report of the Central Election Commission of Georgia, 1,912,943 or 56.17% of the voters took part in the elections.
As per Georgia's Constitution, whoever gains 50% of the votes plus 1 will be elected President in the first round.