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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement


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Press Statement by James P. Rubin, Spokesman
April 10, 2000

Presidential Elections in Georgia

The United States congratulates President Shevardnadze on his re-election. We look forward to continuing our close cooperation in the next five years as Georgia continues to build a democratic, market-oriented state.

The OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights stated that considerable progress is necessary for Georgia to fully meet its commitments as a participating state of the OSCE. Both the OSCE and the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly delegation noted serious irregularities in the conduct of the elections, including instances of ballot stuffing, media bias, and lack of transparency in vote counting and tabulation. While Georgia has made great strides in democratic and free market reforms, this election highlights the challenges that still face Georgia as it develops strong democratic institutions. It will be important for Georgia to continue to work with the OSCE, the Council of Europe, non-governmental organizations and others in the international community in further building a democratic future based on free and fair elections.

We look forward to continuing our close and productive cooperation with President Shevardnadze and the Georgian government.

[end of document]

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