OSCE opens election observation mission in Georgia

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) announced on September 19 about the launch of an election observation mission for the October 27 presidential elections in Georgia.

The mission is headed by Matteo Mecacci, a former member of the Italian parliament, who was a special coordinator of the OSCE short term election observation missions to Serbia and Belarus in 2012.

The OSCE long-term observation mission now includes 16 experts from 15 OSCE participating states, who are based in Tbilisi. The team will be joined by 28 long-term observers from September 25.

«In addition to them, we will have up to 300 short-term observers that will observe the election day, including voting, counting and tabulation of results», – Mecacci told journalists in Tbilisi on September 19. 

He also said that during its observation the mission, which will stay in the country until early November to follow the post-election situation, will issue one interim report around mid October and will hold a press conference on the day after the election to deliver a statement on preliminary findings. 
He also said that observers will follow campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant state bodies, implementation of the legislative framework and the resolution of election disputes, as well as monitor the media coverage of the campaign.

«It is important to emphasize that the role of the observation mission is, as the word says, to observe and provide factual reporting on the findings, not to interfere or to judge in the process. We do not perform the role of election police, nor determine whether an election or its part are legitimate or not», – Matteo Mecacci said at a press conference on September 19.

Adapted from Civil Georgia