Beyond the Elections in Georgia

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

Sunday's local elections in Georgia were predictable, both with regards to the outcome and the statements by international election observers. President Mikheil Saakashvilli's United National Movement (UNM) won solid victories in every local council in Georgia while Gigi Ugulava, the UNM candidate handily defeated Irakli Alasania, the leading opposition figure, in the race for mayor of Tbilisi. Meanwhile the OSCE/ODIHR election report declared that the "The 30 May municipal elections marked evident progress towards meeting OSCE and Council of Europe commitments. However, significant remaining shortcomings include deficiencies in the legal framework, its implementation, an uneven playing field, and isolated cases of election-day fraud." This is the election observation equivalent of a gentlemen's B.

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Academic Units
Harriman Institute
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October 20, 2011