The OSCE is recommending that almost 400 election observers go to Georgia for the parliamentary elections set to take place in four months. There will be 28 long-term observers, and 350 short-term observers for election day itself, October 8.
The group said “a robust and lengthy observation mission” was needed for the upcoming elections, following an extensive exploratory visit in April.
Concerns have been raised over Georgia’s elections following high profile incidents, such as violence between representatives of the two biggest parties, Georgian Dream and the United National Movement, at a polling station following by-elections earlier this month.
Usually observation missions are deployed six to eight weeks before election day. The elections “will take place against a backdrop of political tension affecting the pre-electoral environment, including ongoing legal disputes concerning the county’s largest private broadcaster [Rustavi 2 TV] and a recent release of surveillance videos of high-profile individuals,” the OSCE’s report said.
The campaign is likely to be “intense and focus on personality issues rather than broader policy programmes,” it added.
SOURCE: commonspace.eu and agencies