Nov 26, 2011

GUAM urges international society to condemn so-called elections in South Ossetia

Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM) calls on the international society to condemn the so-called presidential elections held in Tskhinvali region / South Ossetia, Georgia, on November 13, 2011, the statement released by the bureau says.

The document says the organization supports Georgia`s territorial integrity and sovereignty in its internationally recognized border and any elections on the territory of Georgia should be held in accordance with the Georgian legislature and with direct participation of the region`s entire population.

The statement also says the so-called lections in the occupied territory of Georgia were held without participation of the absolute majority of the local population, mostly Georgians, who subjected to gross and mass violations and were forcibly expelled from their homes as a consequence of severe crimes against humanity - ethnic cleansing.

Elections in South Ossetia cannot be considered legitimate in any way, because:

1. after the occupation of the region, the Russian authorities have re-named this historically Georgian region of Kvemo Kartli to 'South Ossetia'. They have carried out assimilation politics, russification and have invented separatism.

2. After the Russian agression against Georgia in 2008, the local Georgian population was driven out of the region through ethnic cleansing.

3. For years, Russia has convinced the West that the war was intended to protect the Ossetian people. Only in November of this year the Russian president has admitted that the goal was to stop NATO enlargement and Georgia's membership of it.

4. Georgian refugees are not allowed to return to their legal homes in the Tkhinvali region. All rights have been denied to them. The region remains under Russian occupation.