TBILISI, DFWatch – A team of election experts from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) will visit Georgia June 11-16.
The OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is sending a mission in connection with Georgia’s election for parliament in October.
Deputy Foreign Minister Nino Kalandadze says the ODIHR delegation will meet with the Central Election Commission and government representatives as well as political parties.
ODIHR is the first international institution to respond to a call by the government for observers to come sooner than is the normal procedure.
The call for extra early observers came in connection with a controversial new law which restricts the financing of political parties. Local non-governmental organizations voiced a demand in early 2012 for the government to invite international organizations to send observers for a longer time before the election than the six weeks which is normal for long-term missions.
The Foreign Ministry on April 6 sent invitations to OSCE/ODIHR, OSCE’s Parliamentary Assembly, the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, the European Parliament and EU bodies.
Foreign minister Grigol Vashadze sent official invitations to observe the elections to Kenneth Wollack, President of the U.S. National Democratic Institute (NDI) and Lorne Craner, head of the International Republican Institute (IRI).