(House of Representatives - November 30, 2012)

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[Pages H6538-H6539]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []


  (Mr. SHIMKUS asked and was given permission to address the House for 
1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)
  Mr. SHIMKUS. Mr. Speaker, on October 1, the nation of Georgia 
successfully elected a new Parliament and

[[Page H6539]]

then underwent the country's first peaceful transfer of power via an 
election since independence. I commend President Saakashvili on his 
leadership in that transition.
  The Georgian people are to be congratulated for a credible election. 
I am encouraged by Georgia's continued positive attitude toward NATO 
integration and its determination to be a modern democracy. However, 
the Georgian Dream coalition must be reminded that the most effective 
way for Georgia to join NATO is through continued development of 
democracy and the rule of law.
  First, there has been increasing pressure on President Saakashvili to 
resign prior to the constitutional end of his term in October 2013. 
While the new majority may see this as a logical next step to 
finalizing the transfer of power, attempting to coerce a sitting head 
of state to give up their constitutional mandate before its expiration 
would run contrary to the principles of democratic governance and the 
rule of law.
  Second, on November 7, the prosecutor's office arrested three members 
of the resigned government, charged with unspecified abuses of power.
  Georgia has made enormous progress in its democratic and political 
development over the past 2 months, progress which very few predicted 
would or could happen so quickly and completely. In light of that, I 
would encourage the new leadership of Georgia to take these concerns 
seriously. It is incumbent upon the Georgian Government to ensure that 
the new Parliament consolidates the democratic process, not a political