The acting President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA), Attila Mesterhazy, issued a statement on the recent developments in Georgia and reminded the government that the organization is based on the principles of democracy, individual freedom and the rule of law.
NATO PA President on recent events in Georgia
By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, February 27
He says the assembly has recognized Georgia’s aspiration to join NATO and supports it on its path, particularly through close dialogue and active cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia.
The president said the failure of the promised proportional electoral system bill was a step backwards for democracy.
The statement notes that the upcoming parliamentary elections are an opportunity for Georgia to show that it adheres to the values on which NATO is based. The President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly regrets that the promise to hold a fully proportional election by 2020 has not been fulfilled.
“I am sorry that the promise of a fully proportional parliamentary election by 2020 failed last November. It was a step backwards for Georgia's democracy, ”the statement read. In it, the president of the NATO PA says he raises more questions and is concerned about the ruling of the Georgian Supreme Court over the case of opposition leader Gigi Ugulava. Attila Mesterhaz fears that the circumstances surrounding Ugulava's verdict further increase political polarization, tension and endangers important political dialogue on electoral reform.
He called on the Georgian authorities to create the conditions for renewed dialogue between the majority and the opposition to restore confidence in the Georgian people and to ensure that the 2020 parliamentary elections are held in line with international standards. He says he will do everything to ensure that the Assembly continues to support Georgia in the process.
The Washington Times has released an article by Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia in which he speaks about Georgia’s role in Black Sea security, the country’s importance for NATO, the US and the European security. The PM logically calls for action from the NATO heads to live up to their word and integrate Georgia into the Alliance. He also mentions the bilateral benefits Georgia’s incorporation will have on both sides, to the security of the alliance, as well as to the security and protection of Georgia.
Meanwhile, Georgian minister of foreign affairs Davit Zalkaliani, who is currently holding meetings in Geneva, said on February 25 that Georgia has all the practical tools for the eventual NATO membership.