Georgia

OSCE Launches Georgia Election Observation Mission

OSCE’s democracy and rights arm ODIHR opened on August 30 election observation mission for Georgia’s October 8 parliamentary polls.

Currently the mission includes a core team of 12 experts from 9 countries based in Tbilisi, which will be joined by 26 long-term observers from September 5, who will be deployed across the country to monitor pre-election developments.

Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has requested the OSCE participating states to send 350 short-term observers to monitor election day and the vote counting process.

The mission is led by French career diplomat Alexandre Keltchewsky; he was head of the OSCE Centre in Astana, Kazakhstan, and led OSCE’s election assessment mission for the parliamentary elections in Turkmenistan in late 2013.

OSCE/ODIHR’s long-term observation mission, which was launched slightly over five weeks before the parliamentary elections, will prepare one interim report on pre-election situation.

OSCE/ODIHR’s long-term observation mission ahead of the 2012 parliamentary elections, which was launched almost six weeks before the election day, released back then two interim reports.

“Our role is to observe and provide factual reporting on the findings,” said head of the election observation mission, Alexandre Keltchewsky, at a news conference in Tbilisi on August 30.

“Our role is not to interfere in the process – we are not at all interested in election result, we are interested in how the elections are conducted,” he added.

The mission will assess the elections for compliance with OSCE commitments and other international standards and obligations for democratic elections, as well as with domestic legislation. Observers will follow the candidate registration process, campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant state bodies, implementation of the legal framework and the resolution of election disputes. The mission will also monitor the media coverage of the campaign.

A statement of preliminary findings will be issued on the day after the election and a final report on the observation of the entire election process will be published about two months after the completion of the election process.

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