( State.gov ) - We congratulate the people of Georgia on the presidential election of January 5. According to the preliminary assessment of international observers, including the OSCE's Office of Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and OSCE's Parliamentary Assembly, the election in Georgia was in essence consistent with most OSCE and Council of Europe commitments and standards for democratic elections. We agree with the European Union and the International Election Observer Mission that this was the first genuinely competitive presidential election in Georgia. Turnout was high in spite of inclement weather.
International monitors identified significant problems that must be corrected. We urge the Government of Georgia to investigate all allegations of irregularities and to work with all political forces to address the challenges and shortcomings identified by international observers prior to parliamentary elections expected this spring.
We encourage all political forces to work peacefully and responsibly for a democratic Georgia. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with the people of Georgia, both the elected leadership and the opposition, to strengthen democratic reform and to deepen the strong relations between our two countries.