|Help Georgia to fulfil the ‘Biden tests’|
|August 05, 2009|
From Mr Levan Gachechiladze.
Sir, Your report “US vows to stand by Georgia” (July 24) discussed the reassuring signals that Joe Biden, the US vice-president, gave to our country in response to the threat from Russia.
However, Mr Biden did not give a carte blanche to the Georgian government, and signalled that there was still much to be done to deepen democracy in Georgia.
The Opposition has said that we need the help of the US to push the “restart button on democracy”, and Mr Biden responded in his address to the Parliament by setting Georgia several democratic tests:
“The Rose Revolution will only be complete when the government is transparent, accountable and fully participatory ... when you fully address key constitutional issues regarding the balance of power between the Parliament and executive branch and levelling your electoral playing field; when the media are totally independent and professional, providing people with the information to make informed decisions and to hold their government accountable for the decisions it makes; when the courts are free from outside influence and rule of law is firmly established and when the transfer of power occurs through peaceful, constitutional and democratic processes, not on the street.”
Ultimately it is up to the people of Georgia to deliver on those challenges, but we will need support from our friends and allies abroad to meet the “Biden tests” for our president. We hope that the international pressure for change in Georgia from the US government, and from the UK, will be maintained in the coming months now that the excitement of Mr Biden's visit has died down.
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