28 January 2021,   17:04
"Georgia events of 2020" - Human Rights Watch report also hits OSCE preliminary report on elections

The Human Rights Watch publishes an annual report. The document also talks about the developments in Georgia in 2020.

“Political tensions rose in Georgia following the October 31 parliamentary elections. The ruling Georgian Dream (GD) party maintained a parliamentary majority amid allegations of fraud, prompting the opposition to boycott the new parliament. International observers, led by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), concluded that the elections were held in a competitive environment, but marred by “widespread allegations of voter pressure.”

Although GD’s electoral victory allowed it to maintain its parliamentary majority, opposition parties rejected the outcome, called for snap elections, and at time of writing, were boycotting their seats in the new parliament. The OSCE found that the vote respected fundamental freedoms but was marred by a “blurring of the border between the ruling party and the state.” Local election-monitoring groups called it “the least democratic and free among elections” held under GD rule. They criticized election-day incidents such as verbal and physical confrontations against journalists and observers, numerous cases of breach of voting secrecy, and vote-buying. On November 8, police used water cannons, without warning, against dozens of peaceful protesters who had gathered outside the central election commission building to protest alleged election violations.

Parliament modified its mixed electoral system following months of protests that started in 2019, and lengthy negotiations between the GD and opposition parties. The reform decreased the number of single-mandate seats and increased proportional representation to 120 deputies in the 150-member legislature”, - reads the report.