OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has deployed 16 experts based in Tbilisi and 24 long-term observers will be deployed from next weekend across the country to monitor pre-election campaign ahead of the May 30 local elections.
In addition, ODIHR intends to deploy 350 short-term observers immediately prior to the polls to monitor election day, vote tabulation and other election-related procedures.
Head of the mission is Audrey Glover, a British diplomat, who was a director of ODIHR in 1994-1997 and served as head of British delegation to the U.N. Commission on Human Rights for five years till 2003. She was head of OSCE/ODIHR election observation missions to Belarus (2004), Kazakhstan (2005), the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2006) and Ukraine (2007).
"The upcoming municipal elections will be an important test for Georgia's continued commitment to holding democratic elections in line with OSCE commitments," Ambassador Glover said on April 16 in Tbilisi.
The mission will assess the legislative framework and its application, electoral campaign activities, the media coverage of the campaign, the performance of the election administration and relevant government bodies as well as the resolution of election-related disputes.
The mission will produce two interim reports and a report on preliminary findings will be available on the day after the elections. A final report will be released eight weeks after completion of the election process, Ambassador Glover said.