June 5 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Georgia on Tuesday to hold free and fair elections. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling on Georgia's political leadership to strengthen democracy and hold free and fair elections. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE HILLARY CLINTON, SAYING : "I urge all the people of Georgia to remember though you did make history with the Rose Revolution, the more difficult and ultimately the more important work may well be ahead, building the habits and practices that sustain democracy over time. That means not only holding successful elections but also going beyond elections and strengthening the other key powers of democracy such as labour rights, judicial independence, media independence and access." While praising Georgia's economic reforms and anti-corruption push, U.S. officials fear the dominance of Mikheil Saakashvili. The president was was elected after peaceful protests in 2003, but has made it hard for other leaders to emerge ahead of October's parliamentary vote and the 2013 presidential poll. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.