Ariel Cohen: Pretty transparent elections give Georgia higher level of functioning democracy

Politics Materials 2 October 2012 20:32 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 2 / Trend A.Badalova /

Pretty transparent elections give Georgia higher level of functioning democracy, leading expert of the Heritage Foundation for Russian and Eurasian Studies and International Energy Policy and member of Trend Expert Council, Ariel Cohen told Trend in interview.

"The fact that the elections had so many observers and were managed in a pretty transparent way gives Georgia much higher level of functioning democracy, than for example Russian Duma elections in December, when there was a lot of criticism from Russian and foreign observers," Cohen said.

Parliamentary elections in were held in Georgia on October 1. Around 14 parties and two political blocs participated in the elections.

Parliament will receive more authority in 2013 after amendments to the Constitution take force resulting in the president's power being reduced.

The opposition coalition Georgian Dream Party leads after counting almost 20 per cent of votes in the CEC.

The ruling United National Movement - more good to the people Party ranks second with 42.08 per cent.

According to Cohen, very few people predicted this outcome. "I must say the polling by Georgia dream that indicated the victory for a while was good quality," he said.

Cohen believes that now it is a real test for Georgia because there is no certainty of a smooth transition.

"It is a first democratic transition, it a test and it is up to Mikheil Saakashvili and Bidzdina Ivanishvili and their people to work together to be able to enact that transition without violence, without bloodshed. So it's a very difficult, very sensitive very precarious time for Georgia," Cohen said.

Cohen believes that a long term test for Georgia is to prevent what happened in Ukraine.

Ukraine had more less a functioning democracy, it was weak, and Georgia should learn from the mistakes of Ukraine, Cohen added.