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The OSCE/ODIHR will deploy Election Observation Mission for October local government elections

By Mariam Chanishvili
Friday, September 15
On the occasion of the formal opening of the election observation mission deployed by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to observe the 21 October local elections in Georgia, the mission held a press conference in Tbilisi on Wednesday.

The OSCE/ODIHR has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) following an invitation from the authorities of Georgia to observe the upcoming local elections and in accordance with its mandate.

Corien Jonker, Head of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation mission, introduced the role of the mission and its upcoming activities.

The mission will include 14 core team experts from 14 participating States, based in Tbilisi, 22 long-term observers will be deployed throughout the country, 350 short-term observers will be from participating States.

“On Monday, 22 long-term observers from 13 OSCE member countries will join the mission and will start their visits to different regions of Georgia,” said Jonker.

In the course of its observation, the mission will meet with representatives from state authorities and political parties, as well as candidates, and representatives from the civil society, media and international community.

The observers will closely monitor the candidate and voter registration, campaign activities, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies.

The day after the elections, ODIHR, together with its partners, will issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions at a press conference. A final report, including the recommendations on the observation of the entire electoral process will be issued approximately eight weeks after the end of the electoral process.

The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (CLARE) is planning to deploy an observer delegation for these elections.

ODIHR carries out election observation in OSCE participating States to assess the extent to which elections respect fundamental freedoms and are characterized by equality, universality, political pluralism, confidence, transparency and accountability. A long-term, comprehensive, consistent and systematic election observation methodology has become the bedrock of ODIHR’s credibility in this field.

The Office also supports authorities in their efforts to improve electoral processes and to follow up on recommendations by ODIHR election observation missions, by reviewing election-related legislation, providing technical expertise and supporting the activities of citizen observer groups.

The local self-government elections will be held in Georgia on 21 October 2017. As a result of the elections the members of representative councils (Sakrebulo), municipalities, mayors of self-governing cities, and heads of self-governing communities will be elected.