|Free parliamentary elections matter of principle—Georgian President|
|February 29, 2012|
Georgian President MikheilSaakashvili on Tuesday described the upcoming parliamentary elections of his country as a very important test and a matter of principle.
The president made the remarks in his annual State-of-the- Nation address to the country's lawmakers.
"This is a very important test for us and it is the matter of principle to make these elections the freest, the most transparent and the most democratic ever held in Georgia," the president said in his hour-long address.
"For this purpose, we invite all the international observers to monitor pre-election (campaign) and election day, because it is in our interest; it is the matter of national security."
Saakashvili also suggested fair political campaigning in the South Caucasus country.
"For maximum fairness of political processes we should provide the transparency of political finances to ensure that it is not hidden for any voter what money is invested in political campaign, what are the interests and what benefits are expected in exchange of this money," he noted.
He pledged that electoral campaign will be carried out in a way that will not harm the investment environment, damage the economy, or reduce incomes for Georgian families through irresponsible actions.
Georgia is scheduled to hold parliamentary elections in October this year and presidential election early next year.
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