GLOBALink | Symposium held to foster understanding of key CPC congress

Published in CHINA
Thursday, 03 November 2022 17:05

BEIJING, Nov. 3 (Xinhua) -- Diplomatic envoys to China, think tank experts and journalists from nearly 80 countries exchanged their views on the guiding principles of the recently concluded 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at a forum on Wednesday.

The symposium titled "Hong Ting Forum: Understanding the 20th CPC National Congress" was jointly hosted by the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee and Xinhua News Agency at the Museum of the Communist Party of China in Beijing.

Speaking at the forum, Qu Qingshan, president of the Institute of Party History and Literature of the CPC Central Committee, said the pivotal CPC congress reviewed the work of the past five years and the great transformations seen in the first decade of the new era, laid out the Party's missions and tasks on its new journey of the new era, and outlined the development goals and major policies of the Party and the country for the next five years and beyond.

Think tank exchanges are important because they provide a platform for the international community to comprehend the new concepts, domains and expressions pertaining to the CPC's history and theories, thereby paving the way to gain a deeper understanding of China, its people and the Party, said Qu, who is also chairman of the National High-Level Think Tank Council of the institute.

Fu Hua, president of Xinhua News Agency, shared his insights on the milestone CPC congress. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress is a political declaration and a program of action for the Party to bring together the Chinese people of all ethnic groups and lead them in securing new success for socialism with Chinese characteristics, Fu said when addressing the forum, adding that the report serves as a window for the world to understand China.

To comprehend the 20th CPC National Congress, it is imperative to gain a profound understanding of the Party's new theories, its distinctive character featuring self-confidence and self-reliance, as well as the global vision the CPC has maintained, said Fu, who is also director of the Academic Committee of New China Research of Xinhua News Agency.

The agency will continue to boost its global communication capabilities, better convey the stories of China, the CPC and the new era, and serve as a bridge connecting China and the rest of the world, Fu said.

The opening of the forum was presided over by Lyu Yansong, editor-in-chief of Xinhua News Agency and deputy director of the Academic Committee of New China Research.

Other participants also exchanged their insightful perspectives both online and offline on topics covering the key role of the Party, Chinese modernization and China's fine traditional culture.

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

 

China Focus: Senior officials explain key report at Party congress

Published in CHINA
Tuesday, 25 October 2022 16:30

BEIJING, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The report of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), adopted at the recently concluded 20th CPC National Congress, serves as a political manifesto and a guideline for action to achieve new victories on socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, a senior official said Monday.

Jiang Jinquan, director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, at a press conference held in Beijing said it is a crystallization of the collective wisdom of the CPC and the people, born from a process embodying intraparty democracy and whole-process people's democracy.

The report will have profound and significant influences on the cause of building a modern socialist country in all respects and advancing national rejuvenation on all fronts, and will help the international community better understand the CPC's governing philosophy, its approach to governance and its ability to govern, he said.

ADAPTING MARXISM

The report has a special section on theoretical innovation. It has elaborated what the CPC has done and plans to do to integrate the basic tenets of Marxism with China's particular realities and fine traditional culture, said Sun Yeli, vice head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee, at the same press conference.

The report also explained the worldview and methodology of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, Sun said.

China is firmly opposed to other countries imposing their own development model on China, and will never "export" the Chinese model or ask other countries to "copy" China's practice, Sun said.

HIGH-QUALITY DEVELOPMENT

The report places the "quality of development" in a more prominent position and underscores high-quality development in various aspects, including economy, society, culture and ecology, said Mu Hong, deputy head of the Office of the Central Commission for Deepening Reform and deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, at the press conference.

It confirms high-quality development as the top priority for building a modern socialist country, and such confirmation shows why the quality of development is important to the overall picture and in the long run, Mu said.

RULE OF LAW

An entire section of the report is dedicated to the rule of law, reflecting the great importance the CPC Central Committee attaches to the matter, said Chen Yixin, secretary general of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, at the press conference.

It is a political declaration of the CPC to advance law-based governance in all respects and a programmatic document for the CPC to advance the rule of law in China, said Chen.

The report provides a comprehensive explanation of the role, overall requirements and key tasks of the rule of law, Chen noted.

FULL, RIGOROUS SELF-GOVERNANCE OF THE PARTY

The report has put forth the idea of improving the systems for exercising full and rigorous self-governance, marking a first for a report at the Party national congress, said Tang Fangyu, deputy head of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, at the press conference.

In light of the major risks and grave challenges facing the Party, full and rigorous self-governance of the Party should be exercised in a holistic, systemic, continuous manner and with high-caliber, said Tang.

Therefore well-structured, scientific, well-rounded, unified and efficient systems will be formed for exercising full and rigorous self-governance, Tang added.

PARTY'S SELF-REFORM

The report urges the whole Party to bear in mind that full and rigorous self-governance is an unceasing endeavor and that self-reform is a journey with no end, said Wang Jianxin, chief of the publicity department of the CPC Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and the National Commission of Supervision, at the press conference.

Noting the remarkable achievements of the anti-corruption fight over the past decade, Wang said the situation still remains grave and intricate, and the battle against corruption is fierce and must be won.

The strategic plans rolled out in the report should be implemented, and an unstoppable anti-corruption momentum should be sustained to ensure that officials do not have the audacity, opportunity or desire to become corrupt, said Wang.

Xi Jinping attends group discussion with delegates from Guangxi to 20th CPC National Congress

Published in CHINA
Thursday, 20 October 2022 15:23

BEIJING, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Comrade Xi Jinping on October 17 joined a group discussion with delegates from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region who are attending the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC). During the discussion, he stressed that the report to the Party's 20th National Congress further charts the way forward for the cause of the Party and the country, and it will serve as a political manifesto and guide for our Party to unite and lead the Chinese people of all ethnic groups to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics on the new journey in the new era.

Xi said that, to study and implement the spirit of the Party's 20th National Congress, we need to have a good command of the importance of the work of the past five years and the great changes in the first decade of the new era, of the worldview and methodology of the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and of our mission to advance the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through a Chinese path to modernization. We should also keep firmly in mind the important requirement of using the great transformation of our own to navigate the great social transformation and the call of the times for us to strive in unity. The entire Party and all the Chinese people need to unite as "one piece of adamantine iron" under the banner of the Party and stay committed to the same goal in mind and action to steer the giant ship of our great rejuvenation, braving winds and waves, toward its destination.

Five delegates of the Guangxi delegation -- Liu Ning, Lan Tianli, Zhou Jiabin, Zhu Xuelan and Zheng Zhiming -- gave their opinions on the report to the congress based on reality and their own experiences. They gave speeches respectively on issues of striving to follow the Chinese path to modernization in Guangxi, fostering a strong sense of community for the Chinese nation, preserving the landmark natural landscape in Guilin, developing agricultural industries with local characteristics, and deepening efforts in independent innovation. They all believe that the report to the 20th CPC National Congress, from a commanding height in considering both China's national rejuvenation and global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century, scientifically lays out goals, tasks, and major policies for developing the cause of the Party and the country in the next five years or even longer period to come, putting forward a series of new approaches, strategies and measures. It will serve as a guiding document for us to build China into a modern socialist country in all respects and realize the second centenary goal. They expressed unanimous support for the report.

In a lively atmosphere, Xi exchanged views with delegates. Having listened attentively to them, Xi said that he was happy to join the discussion as a delegate of the Guangxi delegation. He extended his sincere greetings to all delegates present and over 2.5 million Party members as well as 57 million officials and residents of different ethnic groups in the region.

Xi noted, since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Regional Committee of the CPC and regional government have implemented the CPC Central Committee's decisions and plans, and united and led the people of all ethnic groups in the region in promoting the Five-Sphere Integrated Plan and the Four-Pronged Comprehensive Strategy in a coordinated manner. Facing the grave challenges of global changes of a magnitude not seen in a century and the once-in-a-century COVID-19 pandemic, the regional Party committee and government have led the region in winning the critical battle against poverty, building a moderately prosperous society in all respects together with the rest of the nation, and bringing the comprehensive strength of the region to new heights. As a result, reform and opening up in the region has been deepened comprehensively, ecological system improved continuously, people's living standards raised considerably, and both urban and rural areas have taken on a new look. Great changes have taken place in Guangxi, which can find expression in deepened strict Party governance, solid ethnic unity, sound social stability and border security. These achievements represent successful practices of the Party's ethnic policies and the system of regional ethnic autonomy in the southern border region, vividly reflecting the great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era in our country.

The past five years and the first decade of the new era have been truly momentous and extraordinary in the development of the Party and the country, stressed Xi. As a Chinese saying goes: "One can't tell how hard it is to get things done unless he is fully engaged; a success may look easy but it takes painstaking efforts." In the past 10 years, by overcoming various hardships as if wading across treacherous waters, climbing over steep slopes and breaking through tough barriers, we have made a series of breakthroughs and milestone achievements in the cause of the Party and the country. Practices have proved that the CPC Central Committee's major principles and policies since the Party's 18th National Congress are absolutely correct, and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a right way leading to sound and steady progress. It conforms to the realities of China, reflects the will of the Chinese people, and meets the requirements of the times. We must gain confidence and initiative from history, and present an "excellent answer sheet" to the people and the future on the new journey ahead.

Xi pointed out that in order to implement the Party's innovative theories, we need to gain a good command of their worldviews and methodology as well as make good use of their stances, viewpoints, and methods. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress stressed that we should always put the people first, maintain self-confidence and stand on our own feet, and constantly uphold fundamental principles and break new ground. We should also adhere to a problem-oriented approach, apply systems thinking, and maintain a global vision. Only through conscientious study and implementation of the above six points can we obtain a deep understanding of the reason, rationale, and philosophy governing these innovative theories. We should not only know their meaning, but also grasp their essence and carry them out in the whole process of the Party and the country's work on all fronts, noted Xi.

Xi stressed, in the new era, the Party has developed a deeper understanding, more mature strategies and richer practices for building a modern socialist country, and thus successfully advanced and expanded the Chinese path to modernization. The report to the 20th CPC National Congress elaborated on the characteristics and essential requirements of the Chinese path to modernization, Xi said. Taking deep root in China, the Chinese path to modernization is in line with our national conditions. We must always pursue the development of the country and the nation by relying on ourselves, take our country's destiny of development and progress firmly in our own hands, strengthen our confidence, uphold fundamental principles and break new ground so as to write a new chapter of building China into a modern socialist country in all respects.

Xi pointed out, since the 18th CPC National Congress, the CPC Central Committee has maintained its resolve and exercised full and rigorous self-governance in the spirit of "spending 10 years grinding a sword." Driven by a strong sense of mission, we have resolved to "offend a few thousand rather than fail 1.4 billion" and waged an unprecedented battle against corruption, thus forging a synergy in the Party's self-reform, said Xi. Exercising full and rigorous self-governance is a journey to which there is no end; the Party's self-reform is a ceaseless pursuit. We must persist in carrying out self-reform of the Party so as to ensure that it will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character and that the Party is always the firm core leadership guiding the cause of Chinese socialism.

Xi stressed, only in unity and through strenuous effort can we succeed. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, our Party has firmly relied on the people to stabilize the economy and boost development, fight against absolute poverty and build a moderately prosperous society, contain COVID-19 and resist other major disasters, as well as tackle challenges and defuse crises. We have overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles and created impressive miracles one after another. The most important task at hand is to roll up our sleeves and work hard to put into action the major decisions and arrangements made at the 20th CPC National Congress and produce tangible results.

Xi hoped, under the guidance of the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress, Party committees and governments at all levels in Guangxi will unite and lead officials and the people of all ethnic groups to fully and faithfully apply the new development philosophy on all fronts, resolutely implement the decisions and plans of the CPC Central Committee, and do a better job in promoting high-quality development of the border ethnic area. They should make greater breakthroughs in serving and integrating into the new development pattern, achieve greater progress in pursuing green development, contribute more to safeguarding national security, bring about more results in exercising full and rigorous self-governance of the Party, and strive to open up new prospects for building a magnificent Guangxi in the new era.

Major takeaways from Xi Jinping's report to 20th CPC National Congress

Published in CHINA
Wednesday, 19 October 2022 15:56

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- The following are major takeaways from Xi Jinping's report to the ongoing 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

-- Our Party has dedicated itself to achieving lasting greatness for the Chinese nation and committed itself to the noble cause of peace and development for humanity. Our responsibility is unmatched in importance, and our mission is glorious beyond compare. It is imperative that all of us in the Party never forget our original aspiration and founding mission, that we always stay modest, prudent, and hard-working, and that we have the courage and ability to carry on our fight. We must remain confident in our history, exhibit greater historical initiative, and write an even more magnificent chapter for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

-- Through painstaking efforts, the Party has found a second answer to the question of how to escape the historical cycle of rise and fall. The answer is self-reform. We have ensured that the Party will never change its nature, its conviction, or its character.

-- The great achievements of the new era have come from the collective dedication and hard work of our Party and our people.

-- The great transformation over the past 10 years of the new era marks a milestone in the history of the Party, of the People's Republic of China, of reform and opening up, of the development of socialism, and of the development of the Chinese nation.

-- At the fundamental level, we owe the success of our Party and socialism with Chinese characteristics to the fact that Marxism works, particularly when it is adapted to the Chinese context and the needs of our times.

-- There has never been an instruction manual or ready-made solution for the Chinese people and the Chinese nation to turn to as they fought to end the great sufferings endured since the advent of modern times and have moved on toward the bright future of rejuvenation. The Party has led the people in independently blazing the path to success over the past century, and the success of Marxism in China has been realized by Chinese Communists through our own endeavors. One point underpinning these successes is that China's issues must be dealt with by Chinese people in light of the Chinese context.

-- We must keep to our path and not sway in our commitment. We must not return to the isolation and rigidity of the past, or veer off course by changing our nature or abandoning our system. We must develop our country and our nation with our own strength, and we must maintain a firm grasp on the future of China's development and progress.

-- We must foster a firmer sense of purpose, fortitude, and self-belief in the whole Party and the Chinese people so that we cannot be swayed by fallacies, deterred by intimidation, or cowed by pressure. We must meet obstacles and difficulties head on, ensure both development and security, and dig deep to surmount the difficulties and challenges on the road ahead. Let us harness our indomitable fighting spirit to open up new horizons for our cause.

-- We will continue to strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort, but we will never promise to renounce the use of force, and we reserve the option of taking all measures necessary.

The wheels of history are rolling on toward China's reunification and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Complete reunification of our country must be realized, and it can, without doubt, be realized!

-- Corruption is a cancer to the vitality and ability of the Party, and fighting corruption is the most thorough kind of self-reform there is. As long as the breeding grounds and conditions for corruption still exist, we must keep sounding the bugle and never rest, not even for a minute, in our fight against corruption.

-- The times are calling us, and the people expect us to deliver. Only by pressing ahead with unwavering commitment and perseverance will we be able to answer the call of our times and meet the expectations of our people. All of us in the Party must remember: Upholding the Party's overall leadership is the path we must take to uphold and develop socialism with Chinese characteristics; building socialism with Chinese characteristics is the path we must take to realize the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation; striving in unity is the path the Chinese people must take to create great historic achievements; implementing the new development philosophy is the path China must take to grow stronger in the new era; and exercising full and rigorous self-governance is the path the Party must take to maintain its vigor and pass new tests on the road ahead.

-- The Party has made spectacular achievements through its great endeavors over the past century, and our new endeavors will surely lead to more spectacular achievements.

GLOBALink | High-tech at 2022 World New Energy Vehicle Congress

Published in CHINA
Monday, 29 August 2022 14:04

BEIJING, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- High-tech such as hydrogen fuel cells and automotive chips has caught visitors' attention at the 2022 World New Energy Vehicle Congress, which ended Sunday in Beijing. #GLOBALink

Produced by Xinhua Global Service

L. Davitashvili noted that it is very important, in general, that Congress expresses clear support for the deepening of cooperation with Georgia

Published in Economics
Wednesday, 18 May 2022 15:14

“During the meeting with our fellow congressmen in the US Congress, we received a very clear support for Georgia. We thank the Congressmen for their bipartisan support, which is expressed in the Georgia Support Act. According to the administration of the Ministry of Economics, clear political support is especially important in a difficult situation in the region, where we are talking about the US Congress and Congressmen supporting Georgia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in all formats,” – Deputy Prime Minister Levan Davitashvili stated after the meeting with Congressmen Darren Soto and Brendan Boyle. The meetings was held within the framework of the Vice Prime Minister’s working visit to the United States. Ambassador of Georgia to the United States, Davit Zalkaliani also participated in the meeting.

The meetings with the congressmen focused on the current events in the Black Sea region, as well as the challenges and ways of their overcoming. It was noted that the United States continues to support Georgia in its EU and Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

Georgia is interested in moving its strategic partnership with the United States to a new level, which is one of the main priorities of the country’s foreign policy. In this regard, the importance of deepening economic relations between the two countries as well as developing trade and investment ties, including the possibility of concluding a Free Trade Agreement with the United States, was stressed. It was also noted that the launching of direct flights between Georgia and the United States will help to further deepen bilateral economic relations.

Levan Davitashvili noted that it is very important, in general, that Congress expresses clear support for the deepening of cooperation with Georgia, and this is a very clear message. According to him, there is a desire on the part of the Congressmen to implement more joint projects with Georgia.

FACT SHEET: White House Calls on Congress to Provide Additional Support for Ukraine

Published in Politics
Friday, 29 April 2022 14:17

The assistance the Biden-Harris Administration has provided to Ukraine to date has made a significant difference on the battlefield, helping Ukrainians defend their country and win the battle for Kyiv. Now, as the war shifts to and intensifies in Ukraine’s eastern front, the Biden-Harris Administration is calling on Congress to provide additional resources to help ensure Ukraine’s democracy prevails over Putin’s aggression.

The supplemental resources Congress provided on a bipartisan basis in March have been critical to bolstering security in Eastern Europe, countering Russia’s malign activities in the region, and delivering critical humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine and neighboring partners. Almost all of the $3.5 billion in drawdown authority Congress provided in March has been exhausted as the Biden-Harris Administration has surged military assistance to Ukraine, which they have used to great effect. U.S. supplied weapons and ammunitions – including anti-tank and anti-air systems, helicopters, drones, grenade launchers, and more than 50 million rounds of ammunition – have been flowing into Ukraine daily, and the United States has been working with allies and partners to facilitate deliveries of additional weapons capabilities. The Defense Department has also used $1 billion in supplemental resources to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank and bolster NATO’s security posture to deter Russian aggression.

At the same time, the Administration is delivering humanitarian, economic, food, and other security assistance to Ukraine and the region. This includes roughly $1.7 billion to ensure continuity of Ukraine’s democratic operations and provide other macroeconomic assistance to the region. It also includes $650 million in military assistance to Ukraine, eastern flank countries, and other partners in the region, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars in food, shelter, and other humanitarian aid to help Ukrainians who have been displaced by Russia’s war. Supplemental resources are also supporting efforts to hold Putin and his cronies accountable for their war of choice, helping the United States seize billions in assets and holdings.

Continued bipartisan support in Congress is vital to ensuring that the Ukrainian people have the resources they need to win this war, and this Administration is committed to working with lawmakers and our global allies and partners to keep aid flowing to Ukraine uninterrupted and to support those devastated by the food crisis that Putin’s war has exacerbated.

The $33 billion in security, economic, and humanitarian aid requested today will:

Help Ukraine Defend Itself Over the Long-Term

The Administration is requesting $20.4 billion in additional security and military assistance for Ukraine and for U.S. efforts to strengthen European security in cooperation with our NATO allies and other partners in the region. This includes $5 billion in additional drawdown authority, $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, and $4 billion for the State Department’s Foreign Military Financing program. These resources will put urgently needed equipment into the hands of Ukraine’s military and police, as well as help NATO deter and defend against Russian aggression over the long-term. These additional resources will be used to provide Ukraine and Eastern flank allies with:

  • Additional artillery, armored vehicles, anti-armor and anti-air capabilities flowing into Ukraine uninterrupted.
  • Accelerated cyber capabilities and advanced air defense systems, improved production capabilities for munitions and strategic minerals, and increased intelligence support.
  • Assistance to clear landmines, improvised explosive devices, and other explosive remnants of war and for the Government of Ukraine in securing and addressing threats related to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear materials.
  • A stronger NATO security posture through support for U.S. troop deployments on NATO territory, including transportation of U.S. personnel and equipment, temporary duty, special pay, airlift, weapons system sustainment, and medical support.

Additional Economic Aid to Support Democracy in Ukraine

The Administration is calling on Congress to provide an additional $8.5 billion in economic assistance to help the Government of Ukraine respond to the immediate crisis and continue to provide basic citizen services. This includes funds to:

  • Ensure Ukraine’s democratic government continues functioning; support food, energy, and health care services for the Ukrainian people; and assist the Ukrainian government in responding to operational challenges as businesses shutter and revenue collection plummets.
  • Counter Russian disinformation and propaganda narratives, promote accountability for Russian human rights violation, and support activists, journalists, and independent media to defend freedom of expression.
  • Support small- and medium- sized agrobusinesses during the fall harvest and for natural gas purchases by the Ukrainian state energy company in order to address critical food security, energy, and other emerging needs in Ukraine.

Address Humanitarian Needs due to Russia’s War

The $3 billion in additional humanitarian assistance will provide critical resources to address food security needs around the globe, provide wheat and other commodities to people in need, build countries’ resilience to global food supply and price shocks, and provide lifesaving aid to people displaced by or otherwise impacted by Putin’s War in Ukraine. This funding will mean:

  • Direct food support, including wheat and flour, for individuals in developing countries impacted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as helping countries build more resilient agricultural systems.
  • Medical supplies, high thermal blankets, emergency health kits, safe drinking water, shelter materials, and other lifesaving humanitarian assistance for Ukrainians displaced by Russia’s war.
  • Job training, trauma-informed mental health services, and resources for local school districts to support Ukrainians arriving in the United States, including the new Uniting for Ukraine program.

Bolster Sanctions Enforcement

Resources will also bolster the Department of Justice’s KleptoCapture Task force efforts to pursue high value asset seizures from sanctioned individuals related to Russian actions in Ukraine. The Administration is also proposing legislation to streamline the process to recoup proceeds from seized and forfeited assets and use them to remediate the harm caused in Ukraine.

Addressing Economic Disruptions at Home and Around the World Due to Putin’s Aggression

An additional $500 million in domestic food production assistance will support the production of U.S. food crops that are experiencing a global shortage due to the war in Ukraine, for example, wheat and soybeans. Through higher loan rates and crop insurance incentives the request provides greater access to credit and lowers risk for farmers growing these food commodities, while lowering costs for American consumers.

Additional funding will also allow use of the Defense Production Act to expand domestic production of critical minerals and materials that have been disrupted by Putin’s war in Ukraine and that are necessary to make everything from defense systems to automobiles.  This will help address economic disruptions and reduce price pressures at home and around the world.

By 

Local elections in Georgia: Congress recommends further levelling of the playing field, reducing polarisation and increasing participation of women

Published in Society
Thursday, 24 March 2022 12:01

Strasbourg, 23 March 2022 – At its 42nd Plenary Session, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe adopted, on 23 March 2022, a recommendation on local elections in Georgia (2 October 2021) following an election observation mission deployed by the Congress from 29 September to 3 October 2021.

The Congress delegation expressed satisfaction with orderly Election Day procedures, in particular against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapporteur David Eray (Switzerland, EPP/CCE) welcomed a technically well organised and generally calm Election Day and an election legislation generally conducive to holding democratic elections.

However, the rapporteur highlighted observed irregularities that, to some extent, affected the quality of the election process. In the recommendation, the Congress regrets an unnecessarily complex election legislation, widespread allegations of intimidation, vote-buying as well as of pressure on candidates and voters. Regrettably, the elections were also marked by an unlevel playing field, emanating from the dominance of the ruling party which largely benefited from the advantage of incumbency.

“To our regret, the election campaign was characterised by extremely high tensions and the elections, instead of being about local issues, became rather a referendum about the current government. As a result, the local elections were overshadowed by national issues and I would even say that democracy on local level was taken hostage of the overall national political situation.”, emphasised Mr Eray.

In light of these observations, the adopted recommendation invites the authorities of Georgia to implement measures to step up the effectiveness of all legal provisions to ensure a more even level-playing field, to increase participation of women, and to prevent the misuse of administrative resources. It recommends strengthening the regulatory framework to ensure accountability and transparency of campaign finances.

Lastly, the report encourages national authorities to consider introducing effective measures to fight online fake news and hate speech to tackle polarisation of the society.

Further to the invitation by the Georgian authorities, the Congress carried out an election observation mission from 29 September to 3 October 2021 and observed the local elections held on 2 October as part of a joint international election observation mission together with the OSCE/ODIHR and the European Parliament. The Congress mission comprised 18 members representing 15 Council of Europe countries who observed elections in 9 regions of Georgia, visiting in total some 120 polling stations from the opening until the closing.

See alsoCongress webpage on the observation of local and regional elections

Congress President condemns so-called “elections” held in occupied Abkhazia

Published in World
Wednesday, 16 March 2022 13:49

Strasbourg, 16 March2022 - Reacting to recent so-called “parliamentary elections” held on 12 March 2022 in the Abkhazia region in Georgia, the President of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, Leendert Verbeek, made the following statement:

“By organising these “elections”, the so-called “de facto” authorities of Abkhazia, once again, undermined the principle of the territorial integrity of Georgia forcing this region further into isolation, to the detriment of the local population.

The Congress has always shown its unrelenting commitment to the territorial integrity of member States within its internationally recognised borders. This principle is all the more important in the current context of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine.

Not only since 24 February we know that the illegal recognition of territories of other member States can be only one step ahead of further aggression and war.  This is the bitter lesson we have to learn, eventually.

Therefore, all sort of action undermining the territorial integrity and sovereignty of a member State, is to be strongly condemned. The so-called “elections” organised in Abkhazia fall under this category and do not recognise the illegal occupation of Abkhazia by the Russian Federation. The “vote” organised in Abkhazia on 12 March, instead of strengthening, further erodes stability in this region and is, moreover, the wrong signal at the wrong time.”

Vote on 2 October was a missed opportunity for local democracy in Georgia, says Head of Congress delegation

Published in Society
Monday, 04 October 2021 16:29

Strasbourg, 4 October 2021 - The Congress concluded its mission to observe the local elections held on 2 October in Georgia. David ERAY (Switzerland, EPP/CCE, R), Head of the delegation, underlined the extremely polarized political environment in the country as well as an increase in verbal aggression, hate speech and fake news on social media during the campaign. “This polarisation had a paralyzing effect on local democracy which, in fact, has been taken hostage of the overall national political situation. Against this background, this poll was a missed opportunity for local democracy in Georgia”, Mr Eray stated. The overall unlevel playing field, pressure on voters and vote-buying were further features of these elections which raised concern of the Congress delegation.

Further to the invitation by the Georgian authorities, the Congress carried out an election observation mission from 29 September to 3 October 2021 and observed the local elections held on 2 October as part of a joint international election observation mission together with the OSCE/ODIHR and the European Parliament. The Congress mission comprised 18 members representing 15 Council of Europe countries who observed elections in 9 regions of Georgia, visiting in total some 120 polling stations from the opening until the closing.

The Election Day was overall calm, orderly, transparent and well organised. Except for some inconsistencies, particularly regarding the set-up of polling booths and finger-inking, the Congress observers did not notice major shortcomings during the voting procedures. Some polling stations in urban areas, mostly in Tbilisi, were comparatively small considering the large number of commission members and domestic observers and thus over-crowded. This led also to some confusion about the different roles of election workers, notably during the counting. Some of the Congress observers also reported violations of the new regulation on the 100-meter-perimeter around polling stations.

Although new regulations were put in place to increase number of women on candidate lists by placing at least one in every three candidates of the opposite gender on the ballot, this legal provision proved insufficient as women were almost always placed as the third, sixth or ninth candidate, thus having much lower chances to get elected than their male counterparts. “In our opinion, this was against the spirit of the law”, Mr Eray stated. 

Prior to the Election Day, the Congress delegation held meetings in Tbilisi with various interlocutors, including representatives of the diplomatic corps, domestic and international NGOs, media representatives, the Central Elections Commission and with the Deputy Minister of Justice and Head of Inter-Agency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections, Mr Tornike Cheishvili. Meetings with representatives from different parties including GD, UNM, For Georgia and European Georgia rounded off the preparatory programme of the Congress. The Congress report will be presented at the next Monitoring Committee and adopted during the 42nd Congress Plenary in March 2022.

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Silk Road Tbilisi Forum 2015 has started

Silk Road Tbilisi Forum 2015 has started

Silk Road Tbilisi 2015 forum started today. Following the success of the inaugural Routes Silk Road...

Agreement between SES and GEE

Agreement between SES and GEE

A new multi-year agreement was signed between worldwide satellite operator SES and Global Eagle Ente...

Visa free regime to impose for 15 February

Visa free regime to impose for 15 February

The visa regime imposed by Georgia to Iran has been cancelled for 15 February,” -the Deputy Ambassad...

USA to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia

USA to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia

U.S. Department of State to allocate 63 million US dollars for Georgia. According to the budgetary d...

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