Margareta CederfeltHead of OSCE PA Delegation of Observers Margareta CederfeltCOPENHAGEN, 20 February 2018 – The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is deploying a mission of 42 international observers, including 33 parliamentarians from 22 countries, to Italy for the 4 March parliamentary elections. The observers arrive in Rome next week for two days of briefings before deploying for election day observation around the country.

Swedish parliamentarian and OSCE PA Vice-President Margareta Cederfelt will lead the OSCE PA’s delegation of observers. Cederfelt has participated in some 35 OSCE PA election observation missions across the OSCE area over the past ten years. She will announce conclusions of the mission the day after the elections in Rome.

“Having observed some 150 elections in more than 30 countries across North America, Europe and Central Asia, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly very much looks forward to our first-ever election observation mission to Italy,” said Vice-President Cederfelt. “We hope that the expertise and international perspective that we bring will contribute to promoting an open and transparent process.”

The limited election observation mission is expected to consist of members of parliament and staff from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The decision to observe the elections followed an official invitation from the Italian government in January 2018.

The elections will be assessed based on democratic commitments contained in the OSCE’s 1990 Copenhagen Document. Key aspects of the election procedures that observers will pay attention to include free voting procedures, ballot secrecy, and honest and accurate reporting of results. Observers will also consider issues related to the campaign and media atmosphere and whether all contestants are able to compete in a free and fair electoral environment.

Journalists are invited to a post-election media availability taking place 5 March at the Foreign Press Association in Rome at 13:30. (Via dell’ Umiltà, 83/c, 00187 Rome)

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly is comprised of 323 parliamentarians from 56 countries spanning Europe, Central Asia and North America. The Assembly provides a forum for parliamentary diplomacy, monitors elections, and strengthens international co-operation to uphold commitments on political, security, economic, environmental and human rights issues.

For more background on the OSCE PA’s election observation activities, please click here.