Salome Zourabichvili"s first working visit will be officially scheduled tomorrow in Brussels. Today, the European Parliament"s Foreign Affairs Committee discussed the results of the presidential election. One of the MPs even called the elections held in Georgia disappointing.
According to the European Parliament, there are no answers to questions that are about funding the election campaign and writing off debts for 600,000 people."The media outline was more polarized in the second round. Independent NGOs have become targets of verbal attacks and threats from superior authorities. Despite the improvement of the electoral process in some areas, campaign financing was still a problem as in 2016. Resources were not balanced. The candidate supported by the ruling party received more donations than all the others together. Administrative resources were used. The most noticeable and distinct issue was the second round, the decision of the bank associated with the chairman of the ruling party to write off the debt to 600 thousand men a few days before the election. This was a big buying of votes, "said Joachim Zeller, Member of the European Parliament.
Concerns of the European Parliament were caused by the government"s attacks on NGOs.
"For the last ten years Georgia has worked quite a bit to win the title of the leading partner of the Eastern Partnership and champion of Democracy, but the last campaign has shown that it was negative to attack the NGOs by government officials. Incidents were not of a general character and I must say that candidates could conduct free campaigns, but there was a negative line here as well that caused my concern, "said the Member of the European Parliament, Sajid Karim.
At the first working meeting Salome Zourabichvili will meet with the European Parliamentarians who openly expressed negative attitude towards the elections.
"We are disappointed even though Georgia has the first female president. It will be a good opportunity if we use her visit and discuss these issues as friends of Georgia, "said Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament.