June 5 - As Secretary of State Clinton calls for free and fair elections in Georgia, some opposition leaders say such a poll is possible, but not guaranteed Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urges Georgia to hold free and fair elections, some Georgian opposition leaders visiting Washington, D.C. say that free and fair elections are possible but not guaranteed. Irakli Alasania is the party chairman of the Free Democrats. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRAKLI ALASANIA, PARTY CHAIRMAN OF THE FREE DEMOCRATS , SAYING: "Of course it is possible. Georgia has come along pretty well over the past years, but we are having major deficiencies in development because of the lack of media transparency, because of lack of support to the NGO's; and also what we are seeing is police and security forces are involving themselves in electioneering," . Mikheil Saakashvili's two terms as president end next year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) IRAKLI ALASANIA, PARTY CHAIRMAN OF THE FREE DEMOCRATS , SAYING: "We Georgians are freedom loving people, and we Georgians do not want to listen when somebody is telling us how to think, how to vote. So, this is why I think that we can have fair and free elections, we just need to have the instruments in place. A senior U.S. State Department official says that the United States had repeatedly emphasized to Georgian politicians that, quote " the next transition should be a genuine one". Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters