13 September 2012, 13:00

Statement of members of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation on refusal to register observers at parliamentary elections in Georgia

On September 9, 2012, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of Georgia approved its Resolution No. 263/2012 to reject registration of the members of the Public Chamber of Russia M. S. Grigoriev and S. A. Markov as international observers at the parliamentary elections in Georgia to be held on October 1, 2012.

The appropriate request was sent to the Georgian party on September 7 by the Inter-Commission Working Group of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation for International Cooperation and Public Diplomacy, within which a working group on international monitoring of elections and referendums is functioning.

This decision, signed by Zurab Kharatishvili, Chairman of the Georgian CEC, is motivated by the absence of diplomatic relations between Russia and Georgia. However, in accordance with Articles 39 and 40 of the Electoral Code of Georgia, such fact is no basis for rejecting registration of international observers. Moreover, point 5 of Article 40 of the above Code states that the CEC has no right to reject accreditation of international observers, if an application has been filed in accordance with the provisions of the Code.

The apparent political motivation of the unlawful decision to reject registration for international monitoring of the elections, which is an integral component of the fair and open democratic process, is worth regretting. We believe that the actions of the Georgian authorities not only raise questions about the legitimacy of the upcoming elections, but also pose a serious threat to the constructive dialogue, mutually beneficial cooperation and prosperity in Transcaucasia.

We hereby call upon the international community and the international organizations working in the sphere of election monitoring and human rights to demonstrate solidarity and draw attention to the fact of violating the international norms by the political leadership of Georgia. Ignoring of such violations is calling into question the operation of the very institution of international observation of electoral processes. Our overall mission of strengthening the interpersonal, cultural and humanitarian relations, bringing together the countries and nations of the region is clearly demanding to reject the precedents of this kind.

M. S. Grigoriev
S. A. Markov
A. V. Sokolov

September 11, 2012

Source: Press Office of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation

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