International observers make preliminary statement on Parliamentary Elections in Georgia

International observers make preliminary statement on Parliamentary Elections in Georgia
# 22 May 2008 16:46 (UTC +04:00)
The International Election Observation Mission said in a preliminary statement released today.
The observers noted that voters were offered a wide array of choices to select their representatives. The legal framework was generally conducive to the conduct of democratic elections, although remaining inconsistencies negatively affected its implementation. After failed talks, the government unilaterally changed the election system shortly before the elections in a manner seen by the opposition as favoring the ruling party.
Parties were able to campaign actively, but there were numerous allegations of intimidation, some of which could be verified. The distinction between state activities and the government party’s campaign was often blurred. The media, in particular public TV, offered voters a diverse range of views. The election administration worked in a transparent manner, but election commissions and courts generally did not give due consideration to complaints.
Election day was overall calm and generally assessed positively, although problems with inking and instances of pressure on observers and proxies were noted. Counting and tabulation was evaluated less positively, with many significant procedural shortcomings observed.
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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED