Head of Mission: Nikolai Vulchanov
Core team of 16 experts, based in Tbilisi
28 long-term observers to be deployed throughout the country
350 short-term observers requested from OSCE participating States
22 August: Mission opens
27 August: Arrival of long-term observers
28 August: Briefing of long-term observers
29 August: Deployment of long-term observers across the country
27 September: Arrival of short-term observers
28–29 September: Briefing of short-term observers
29 September: Deployment of short-term observers across the country
30 September: Familiarization by short-term observers with areas of responsibility
1 October: Election day
2 October: Press conference on preliminary findings and conclusions
4 October: Departure of short-term observers
7 October: Departure of long-term observers
11 October: Departure of the core team
The 150-member parliament will be elected for a four-year term; 77 members will be elected under a list-based proportional system and another 73 in single-mandate constituencies. Apart from political parties and blocs, elections in majoritarian districts can also be contested by independent candidates.
Elections will be held under a revised legal framework, including a new Election Code, which was adopted last year following an overall inclusive legislative review process.
The new parliament will have considerably increased authority. The 2010 constitutional amendments reduced the powers of the president in favour of the prime minister and the government, thus shifting the political system towards a more parliamentary one.
OSCE/ODIHR last observed parliamentary elections in Georgia in 2008 and local elections in 2010.
On 5 April 2012, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia extended an early invitation to the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR) to observe the 1 October parliamentary elections. The OSCE/ODIHR undertook a Needs Assessment Mission (NAM) to Tbilisi from 11 to 15 June 2012. Based on the findings of the NAM and in accordance with its mandate, the OSCE/ODIHR has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EOM) for these elections. The OSCE/ODIHR EOM started its work in Georgia on 22 August.
The EOM, headed by Mr. Nikolai Vulchanov of Bulgaria, consists of 15 members of the core team based in Tbilisi drawn from 14 OSCE participating States. Twenty-eight long-term observers are expected to arrive by 27 August, to be briefed on 28 August and deployed throughout the country on 29 August.
The mission will assess these elections for compliance with principles for democratic electoral processes, including commitments agreed to by all the OSCE participating States, as well as national legislation. Observers will monitor campaign activities, media coverage, the legislative framework and its implementation, the work of the election administration and relevant government bodies, as well as the resolution of election disputes.
The OSCE/ODIHR will request 350 short-term observers to be deployed immediately prior to the 1 October elections. The short-term observers will be deployed throughout the country in multinational teams of two to monitor the opening of polling stations, the voting, the counting of ballots, and the tabulation of results.
For election day observation, the OSCE/ODIHR will join efforts with a delegation of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and other parliamentary partners. The OSCE Chairperson-in-Office has appointed Mr. Tonino Picula, Vice President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, as Special Co-ordinator to lead the short-term OSCE observer mission.
The day after the elections, the EOM will issue a statement of preliminary findings and conclusions. A final report on the observation of the entire electoral process will be issued approximately eight weeks after the end of the observation mission.