International Observers Arrive in Georgia
Election observers of the European Parliament, Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, as well as expert teams of the U.S.-funded non-profits, National Democratic Institute (NDI) and International Republican Institute (IRI), have arrived in Georgia ahead of October 2 local polls.
Seven members of the European Parliament will observe the elections. Headed by MEP Michael Gahler (EPP, Germany), the delegation also includes lawmakers Miriam Lexmann (EPP, Slovakia), Marina Kaljurand (S&D, Estonia), Katalin Cseh (RE, Hungary), Markéta Gregorová (Greens/EFA, Czech Republic), Jordi Solé (Greens/EFA, Spain), and Anna Fotyga (ECR, Poland).
The CoE Congress delegation consists of 18 observers from 15 countries, headed by David Eray (Switzerland, EPP/CCE, R). The delegation will dispatch nine teams on polling day.
Ahead of the polls, the observers will hold preparatory meetings on September 30 – October 1, with CSOs, media, diplomats and Central Election Commission Chair Giorgi Kalandarisvhili.
The delegation, alongside the European Parliament observers and OSCE/ODIHR will hold a joint press conference after the election day, on October 3, at 15:00.
NDI and IRI released a joint statement on September 29 that their expert teams had arrived in Tbilisi, as part of their respective observation missions that launched on September 6.
The experts will meet with government officials, leaders of the ruling Georgian Dream and opposition parties, diplomats, as well as local and international observers.
They called on “all political parties to uphold democratic principles by participating actively and in good faith during the elections and in the post-election period.” But NDI and IRI said the experts will not make further statements before or after the polls. The organizations will publish reports of their electoral assessments several weeks after the elections.
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