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PM delivers speech at PACE session

By Tea Mariamidze
Friday, April 22
“The upcoming Parliamentary elections in Georgia will be highly transparent and democratic,” Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili stated while delivering a speech at the session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Council (PACE) on April 21.

According to Kvirikashvili, Georgia is waiting for the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly's election monitoring for two reasons – firstly because it is very important for Georgia and secondly because the elections 2016 should be transparent and conducted in an equal environment.

"We want you to recognize the election results, no matter what they will be," said the Prime Minister, and underlined that Georgians from the occupied regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are not allowed to participate in the elections.

The Georgian PM stressed that Georgia is still partially occupied by Russia and he called upon European MPs to “make decisions which we all will be proud of”.

“We hope that together we will speed up the consolidation process of democracy against all the forces and all the doubts who want to separate Europe,” said Georgian PM.

Kvirikashvili noted that Georgia has passed a long way towards free and united Europe and it became the member of the Council of Europe in April 1999.

“By becoming a member of a number of organizations, Georgia became a member of the European family. This was done in accordance with our national strategy, but at the same time, we are keeping our historic roots and are strengthening individual citizens,” he said.

According to Kvirikashvili, the Georgian government has implemented many reforms in order to secure European standards, especially in human rights.

He stated that the seven-year programme of human rights defence launched in Georgia aims at strengthening democratic values.

“Being an European does not mean only geographical aspect; it is largely a sense of security, dignity, freedom and capacity,” said Kvirikashvili, and added that visa liberalization will mark a true start to Georgia's membership in the European community.

“It is very convenient for each Georgian citizen to move freely in Europe; this is our return to Europe after a period of independence,” he stated.

Before delivering his speech at the PACE session, PM Kvirikashvili had a meeting with the President of the EU Council Parliamentary Assembly, Pedro Agramunt.

The main issues of the meeting were Georgia's democratic institutions, the rule of law, and judiciary and human rights reforms implemented and planned in Georgia. In addition, the upcoming parliamentary elections and recent developments in the region were discussed.

“It is very important for us to discuss the reforms implemented in Georgia with our European friends,” said Kvirikashvili, and confirmed to Pedro Agramunt that the Georgian Government will provide transparent, free and fair elections.