President Salome Zourabichvili on Thursday expressed her belief in providing members of the Georgian diaspora with the opportunity to actively participate in the country's elections, ahead of the next year’s Parliamentary race.
The president stressed the need for negotiations with partner countries to facilitate the involvement of diaspora members and address concerns related to legal status and safety.
The President acknowledged that many Georgians living abroad, including a significant number who are undocumented, hesitate to participate in official events due to fears of potential consequences.
She stressed the importance of engaging in discussions with partner nations to create a conducive environment for the diaspora's electoral involvement, ensuring they can partake without feeling threatened.
Speaking on the significance of diaspora involvement in elections, Zourabichvili highlighted the impact of emigrant sentiments on election results.
She emphasized that the current approach, which often relies on a small, well-established group around embassies, was insufficient. The president called for a broader outreach effort, recognizing the importance of engaging with the diverse and independent segment of the electorate residing outside the country.
She urged the initiation of discussions on this matter, expressing satisfaction that the topic was gaining attention in various circles. She underscored the need for multiple polling stations in different countries, particularly in larger nations, to facilitate the participation of Georgian citizens living abroad.
Highlighting potential support from partner countries, Zourabichvili mentioned that several nations were willing to assist Georgia in creating safe spaces for diaspora members to participate in elections.
Addressing concerns about undocumented individuals fearing detection by local authorities, the President cited examples from countries like France, where similar issues had been successfully addressed through agreements and guarantees.