Georgia

OSCE/ODIHR establishes Election Observation Mission for presidential election in Georgia

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Tbilisi, 9 March 2000 -- Following an invitation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) has established an Election Observation Mission for the 9 April presidential election in Georgia.
Mr. Nikolai Vulchanov, Head of the ODIHR Election Observation Mission, will co-ordinate the work of 6 international experts based in Tbilisi and long term observers who will be deployed to most regions of the country shortly.

The ODIHR Election Observation Mission will operate separately from the OSCE Mission to Georgia established in 1992 and headed by Ambassador Jean-Michel Lacombe, which will continue to carry out its regular activities under its mandate.

The ODIHR Election Observation Mission will assess compliance of the election process in Georgia with the commitments outlined in the OSCE Copenhagen Document of 1990, as well as with relevant Georgian legislation. Observers will also monitor the election campaign including the balance of media coverage.

Some 150 short-term observers will be deployed shortly before polling day. They will observe the process on election day including voting, ballot counting, hand-over of polling station results and vote tabulation at all levels.

The ODIHR Election Observation Mission will issue a statement on its preliminary findings and conclusions on the day after the election. A comprehensive final report will be released approximately one month after the publication of the final results.

If a second round of voting is required, the ODIHR Election Observation Mission will extend its presence in Georgia.