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Freedom House Encourages Georgian Government to Strike Democratic Balance of Power
Today in Tbilisi, Freedom House urged reform-minded leaders in Georgia to observe democratic process while advancing reforms. This was the key message as Freedom House released an advance copy of its country report for Georgia, from the forthcoming edition of Nations in Transit 2006, an annual survey of democratic governance from Central Europe to Eurasia.
The Rose Revolution brought to power a political group that had long advocated democratic reforms modeled on Western Countries. Freedom House analyst for Georgia Ghia Nodia said, "Two years later, the record of the new government is rather mixed. It has achieved a considerably higher level of effectiveness in state institutions, but so far the government is not based on the proper democratic balance of power."
Freedom House visited Georgia as part of larger effort to generate public debate in Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan about necessary democratic reforms in each country. The keynote event was a public discussion with civil society and government officials on democratic reforms in Georgia, co-hosted with the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development.
In Georgia, Freedom House is generating discussion with a special focus on local governance. "Local elections scheduled for the fall are expected to be the most important political event of the year," said Nodia, who is also chairman of the Caucasus Institute for Peace, Democracy and Development. "The government's ability to take on this challenge in a transparent and inclusive way will be a test for the government in balancing its desire for reform results with the process," said Freedom House Deputy Director Thomas O. Melia.
Following the public discussion, Freedom House pre-released the Georgia chapter from Nations in Transit 2006, as well as key findings from other Freedom House publications. This included a look at Freedom House methodologies to provide benchmark tools to Georgian democrats engaged in monitoring democratic progress. Freedom House's annual standard-setting publications draw attention to global trends in democracy, providing an essential tool to policymakers in the international community.
Freedom House is an independent private organization supporting the expansion of freedom throughout the world. Freedom House has monitored political rights and civil liberties, as well as freedom of the press, in Georgia since 1991.
More background on Georgia is available on the Freedom House website:
Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.