COPENHAGEN, 26 September, 2016 – Guglielmo Picchi (MP, Italy), Head of the OSCE PA observer mission to the 8 October parliamentary elections in Georgia, today issued the following statement:
“Two days ago upon leaving Tbilisi I said that everyone we met welcomed the strong atmospheric change since the 2012 elections. One political party has since raised concerns and has objected to my characterisation of our meetings, reminding of the concerns they raised. I would not want to inaccurately reflect the opinion of all those we met with. However, it remains true that the overwhelming majority of our interlocutors noted the atmospheric change since 2012.”
The full text of the 24 September statement can be found here.
OSCE parliamentary election observers in Georgia note improved campaign environment, call on all sides to avoid provocations
TBILISI, 24 September 2016 – Leading members of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly election observation mission to the 8 October parliamentary elections in Georgia today concluded a three-day visit to the country, noting the active participation of many parties in the campaign.
OSCE parliamentarians will observe the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia and provide leadership for the OSCE’s short-term observer mission.
OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Frank-Walter Steinmeier has appointed Ignacio Sanchez Amor (MP, Spain) as Special Co-ordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission for the 8 October vote. Guglielmo Picchi (MP, Italy) will serve as Head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly delegation, which will include almost 40 observers from 17 OSCE participating States.
OSCE PA’s Skopje Autumn Meeting to explore ways of strengthening good governance and confidence-building measures
COPENHAGEN, 23 September 2016 – In one week, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s 15th Autumn Meeting will open in Skopje with addresses by host officials including Speaker of Parliament Trajko Veljanoski and Vice-President Renata Deskoska. The opening session will also feature remarks by OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Christine Muttonen (MP, Austria) and a special address by Mevlut Cavusoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, followed by a debate.
Some 200 members of parliament from 50 countries will gather from 30 September to 2 October to debate issues under the theme “Strengthening Confidence-Building Measures and Good Governance in the OSCE Region.” Topics of discussion will include crises impacting the OSCE area such as migration, the situation in Turkey following the attempted coup of 15 July, the crisis in and around Ukraine, the progress and ongoing challenges facing South East Europe, and specific issues related to the Mediterranean region.
Russian elections more transparent, but challenges to democratic commitments remain, international election observers say
The liberalization of the party registration process has yet to result in distinct political alternatives, and the campaign was low-key. Local authorities did not always treat contestants equally, and instances of misuse of administrative resources were noted, the statement says. Election day generally proceeded in an orderly manner, but numerous procedural irregularities were noted during counting. The Central Election Commission (CEC) reacted to the reported irregularities, including ballot box stuffing and carousel voting, and announced preliminary voter turnout at 48 per cent.
“The improved transparency and trust we have seen in the election administration are important steps, yet legal restrictions on basic rights continue to be a problem,” said Ilkka Kanerva, Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission. “If Russia is to live up to its democratic commitments, greater space is needed for debate and civic engagement.”