OSCE is requesting its member states to second up to 400 observers to monitor parliamentary elections in Georgia scheduled for this October.
In addition to a core team of experts, the OSCE plans to deploy 28 long-term observers to follow the election process ahead of election day across the country, as well as 350 short-term observers to monitor election day procedures, including voting, counting of votes and tabulation of results, according to a report by a needs assessment mission, which visited Georgia on June 11-15.
Georgia requested in early April to OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to deploy long-term election observation mission in lead up to the October parliamentary elections.
Following the request, ODIHR sent a three-member Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) in mid-June to define scope and type of observation activities.
“NAM interlocutors [in Georgia] underscored the need for an observation activity by the OSCE/ODIHR in connection with the upcoming parliamentary elections. The presence of international observers in the country sufficiently in advance of election day to follow the pre-electoral process was deemed crucial,” reads the needs assessment mission’s report.
According to the report among the issues planned long-term observation mission could focus on are implementation and the impact of the revised electoral legal framework, work of the media, application of new campaign finance regulations, functioning of the complaints and appeals system and the conduct of the campaign.
OSCE has already started process of recruiting mission staff, including for the post of head of mission, as well as analysts for political, legal, media and campaign finance issues. Deadline for submitting applications expires on July 17.
Usually OSCE/ODIHR long-term observation missions are deployed six to eight weeks before election day.
The largest observation mission ever deployed by OSCE/ODIHR in Georgia was in 2003, when 34 election experts and long-term observers and up to 390 short-term observers were sent to monitor November parliamentary elections results of which were then partially annulled.