Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Elections in Georgia

Delivered in Plenary - 26th October 2012

Madam President

I too fully applaud the Georgian people for the dignified and peaceful way in which they conducted their elections, and congratulate the Georgian Government on its speedy implementation of the peoples democratic will. Georgia is an unrecognisable place from the dictatorship which oppressed its people until just nine years ago.

It has now demonstrated that it is a mature democracy. While we note the fact that the Georgian state still has some work to do on other fronts, the preliminary cohabitation signals from President Saakashvili and Prime Minister Ivanishvili are extremely encouraging, with a very smooth handover of democratic powers.

I welcome improved Georgia-Russia relations, but of course Tbilisi should not compromise over its territorial integrity or European westward leanings. The new Prime Minister must of course fully respect minority rights within Georgia, in particular its large Armenian minority.