EU election observers said on Monday that Georgia’s presidential poll was “transparent”, confirming democracy is becoming stronger in the former Soviet republic.
The European Commission also welcomed the victory of Georgy Margvelashvili, the candidate representing the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, after he won Sunday’s elections with a clear majority.
‘The EU congratulates president elect Georgy Margvelashvili. We also congratulate Georgia on what appears to have been a well managed election. It’s clear that last year’s parliamentary election was part of a pattern of consistent improvement of democratic institutions and we understand that while observers are reporting some issues similar to those issues reported last year, the overall picture is encouraging’, said European Commission’s spokesperson Michael Mann.
Led by a Georgian billionaire who made his fortune in Russia, the Georgian Dream coalition now controls both the presidency and the government for the first time.
In light of the next European Partnership Summit in Vilnius next month, Georgian and European authorities hope to start discussions on a possible association agreement that will lead to deeper Georgian integration with the EU.
‘No question that the debate showed and confirmed the ambition we had for this summit and there is no question too that we will make every efforts to make it a success just strengthen and deepen our collaboration with our Eastern partners individually as well as as a group’, said EU’s High representative Catherine Ashton after a Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg last week.
With a population of 4 and a half million people, Georgia’s strategic position is both important for Russia and also the EU, which gets Caspian gas and oil via pipelines that go through Georgia.
President Barroso is due to meet on Tuesday in Brussels the former ousted Georgian President, who stayed in power for 10 years.