The Presidency of the EU holds that the Parliamentary Elections on 21 May 2008 were an important test for democracy in Georgia, particularly in the light of the recent developments in the country, and congratulates the Georgian people for their peaceful conduct.
The Presidency takes note of the 22 May Statement of Preliminary Findings and Conclusions of the International Election Observation Mission (IEOM), led by the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), which concludes inter alia that the elections overall offered the Georgian people an opportunity to choose their representatives from amongst a wide array of choices, and that the authorities and other political stakeholders made efforts to conduct them in line with Georgia's OSCE and Council of Europe commitments.
However, the Presidency notes with concern that a number of problems were identified by the IEOM which made the implementation of commitments uneven and incomplete.
The Presidency also notes that vote count and tabulation of results is still continuing and looks forward to the final results of the elections and their final assessment by the ODIHR.
The Presidency welcomes the good cooperation of the Georgian authorities with the OSCE/ODIHR-led election observation mission. In this context, the Presidency calls on the competent authorities to ensure that all complaints are adequately and urgently addressed.
The Presidency notes that in the follow-up of the January Presidential Elections in Georgia certain problems flagged by the ODIHR have not been addressed accordingly and distinct challenges remain. Therefore the Presidency urges Georgia to take all necessary steps to address the identified shortcomings, inter alia on electoral legislation and procedures.
Finally, the Presidency urges all political forces to respect the election results and to engage constructively to resume an inclusive political dialogue in order to build a broad consensus in the interest of the country.