Leading members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s election observation mission to the 28 October presidential election in Georgia are arriving this week in Tbilisi for final preparations of the mission, GeorgiaToday reports.
Kristian Vigenin from Bulgaria was appointed by the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office as Special Co-ordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission and will deliver the preliminary post-election statement at a press conference in Tbilisi on 29 October. The OSCE PA’s observation mission for the election is headed by Margareta Cederfelt from Sweden and includes 50 parliamentarians and staff from 17 OSCE countries.
“Clearly, this election is important both to Georgians and to the international community, and represents another test for the development of democracy in Georgia,” Vigenin said today. “As observers, we will bring a critical eye to this process, assessing it for compliance with the election-related commitments to which all OSCE countries have agreed, and will ensure that our assessment is fair, balanced, and based on the broadest information possible.”
“Our presence in Georgia demonstrates our solidarity and support of the Georgian people, who we hope will turn out to vote in high numbers,” Cederfelt said. “We hope for a competitive and calm election, mindful that this election marks the conclusion of the shift from a presidential system initiated eight years ago.”
The observation mission is a common endeavour involving OSCE parliamentarians, observers deployed by the OSCE/ODIHR, and election observers from the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. In total, the OSCE expects to have more than 350 observers active on election day throughout Georgia.
This is the 12th time that the OSCE PA has sent election observation missions to Georgia, including for the presidential election in 2013 and for both rounds of the parliamentary elections in 2016. The OSCE PA’s observation activity in Georgia dates back to 1995.
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