ODIHR opens election observation mission in Georgia
ODIHR opens election observation mission in Georgia

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) today opened an election observation mission (EOM) for the 31 October parliamentary elections in Georgia, following an invitation from the Georgian authorities, the OSCE reported.

The mission is led by Ambassador Jillian Stirk and consists of a core team of 13 experts based in Tbilisi and 27 long-term observers, who will be deployed throughout the country from 1 October. In addition, ODIHR plans to request OSCE participating States to send 350 short-term observers, who would arrive several days before election day.

The mission will assess whether the elections are held in line with OSCE commitments and other international obligations and standards for democratic elections, as well as with national legislation. Observers will closely monitor fundamental aspects of the elections such as voter registration, campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, election-related legislation and its implementation, and the resolution of election-related disputes. The mission will also monitor media coverage of the campaign.

Meetings with representatives of relevant authorities and political parties, civil society, the media and the international community form an integral part of the observation.

On election day itself, the ODIHR EOM will join efforts with delegations from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to monitor the opening of polling stations, voting, the counting of ballots and the tabulation of results.

An interim report will be published to update the public and media during the course of the observation. The day after the elections, a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions will be issued at a press conference, and ODIHR will publish a final report summing up the observation and making recommendations for improvements approximately two months after the end of the election process.