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Leaders of Georgian government meet with NDI director

By Nika Gamtsemlidze
Tuesday, February 25
Bidzina Ivanishvili, Chairman of the Georgian Dream, met with Derek Mitchell, President of the National Democratic Institute (NDI). According to the party's press office, the meeting was held at the central office where the parties discussed the ongoing political processes and the pre-election environment in the country.

Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia met with the NDI delegation. In a statement issued by the government administration, the parties discussed various aspects of NDI's activities in Georgia.

According to the statement, the participants noted that it was important to reduce the high polarization level during the election. The Prime Minister emphasized that the elections of 2020, like all - after 2012, will be held following the highest international standards.

Gakharia and NDI President Derek Mitchell discussed various directions of NDI activities in Georgia at the meeting. The high level of US-Georgia strategic partnership was particularly emphasized during the conversation. They also focused on the need for coordinated co-operation during the election year in the country.

Discussions focused on the importance of strengthening local self-government and representative bodies and NDI activities in this regard. It was noted that it is important not to politicize specific aspects of the activity, as this may hinder the achievement of the goals on which the National Democratic Institute-supported projects are focused.

The Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia Archil Talakvadze met with NDI president and discussed the main issues related to the parliamentary elections, as well as the main political topics and agenda of cooperation.

The Speaker also briefed the President of the NDI on the reforms made by the Parliament and the priorities of the current session.

Like the IRI, the NDI has repeatedly been criticized by government officials. They accuse the organization of bias and of pursuing opposition interests.

In November, Ivanishvili criticized political studies in Georgia. On Imedi TV, he said he plans to publish an open letter informing Congress, the Senate and the US President's administration about the ongoing events.

In addition to the governing team, these organizations are also opposed by the Patriots Alliance. They are demanding a ban on organizations in Georgia and launching an investigation against the head of the NDI's Georgian office Laura Thornton.