The US embassy to Georgia has condemned the ‘violent, seemingly politically motivated attacks’ on opposition activists in Dmanisi and Rustavi in recent days, ahead of the October 2 municipal elections.
“This, along with numerous reports of pressure and intimidation against opposition candidates and their supporters throughout the country, raises serious doubts about the government’s commitment to a safe, fair pre-election environment and a democratic election process,” said the embassy.
The embassy states that violence is unacceptable in an election campaign and that the government bears ‘primary responsibility’ for creating an environment that protects individuals’ rights and ensures a free, fair, competitive election that voters can have confidence in.
“The Government of Georgia should redouble its efforts to ensure that candidates and their supporters can exercise their democratic rights of free speech and assembly, without threats of intimidation, harassment, or violence, and take proactive steps to hold accountable those who commit election violations,” said the embassy.
The embassy notes that all parties have a civic duty to promote a peaceful atmosphere in which citizens can discuss the issues, express their preferences, and choose their candidates free from the threat of violence and intimidation.