“NDI has decided it will not deploy an in-person international observer delegation to Georgia in late October for election day as the global COVID-19 pandemic is still not under control internationally, including in the United States. After reviewing these international conditions, and considering carefully its own capacity to mitigate risks to its partners and itself in this environment,“ announced National Democratic Institute today.
“Building on its detailed pre-election analysis, NDI intends to maintain a robust focus on Georgia’s electoral process leading up to and following parliamentary elections on October 31. Leveraging the work of its longstanding on-the-ground presence, interviews by a virtual pre-election analysis team led by NDI President Derek Mitchell, and a subsequent pre-election report released last month, NDI initiated what will be a sustained effort that draws on the accepted standards NDI helped create for election observation. The Institute will conduct this effort, as in the past, together with Georgian partners and the international community,“ stated NDI.
Starting in early September, NDI will deploy a team of long-term analysts (LTAs) who will focus on several key electoral themes including electoral administration, party campaigns, gender and inclusion, and media and disinformation. These LTAs will work remotely, paired with assistants based in Georgia, to continuously track the key issues identified in the pre-election report and those that may emerge. NDI will issue an interim bulletin that updates the pre-election analysis, which will be informed by close cooperation with Georgian and international observers.
National Democratic Institute added that NDI President Mitchell will lead a second high-level virtual election analysis team two weeks before election day to set the stage for a third, comprehensive report to be released in the days immediately following the election. Covering the entire election process, including the campaign period as well as election day, the report will be based on discussions with Georgian government officials, political party representatives, members of the Central Election Commission, civil society organizations (CSOs), the media, domestic observer groups, and the international diplomatic community. Analysis from NDI’s LTAs as well as data gathered by respected Georgian election observation groups will also inform this final analytical report.