( Civil ) - President Mikheil Saakashvili has urged OSCE and international organizations to send "hundreds and, if necessary, thousands observers" to monitor early presidential polls expected for January 5.
He was speaking at a meeting with new head of OSCE mission in Georgia Terhi Hakala and Saakashvili's opening remarks were aired live by the Georgian televisions.
Below is a full transcript of President Saakashvili's statement:
I am glad that OSCE mission in Georgia has a new head and it is very important for me to build good cooperation between us.
Presidential elections will be held on January 5 and it is extremely important for us that OSCE - the most important European election watchdog organization - to send hundreds and, if necessary, thousands of observers to Georgia. Our people, with its dignity, restraint, democracy, will prove to the entire world that we are an exceptional European nation and it will happen in the light of a working machine, which will try to portray Georgia as an instable country where elections are not held in a normal way and where there are no democratic processes.
We need your help for this purpose. Bring here your observers in advance so that to monitor the opposition's opportunities to hold pre-election campaign, including in terms of mass media and in general to observer what are the opposition's opportunities in terms of exercising their policies.
We are not creating any problems to any [presidential] candidate, including problems related with criminal proceedings - although some of them may have some problems with the law, but we have made it clear: no one will face any criminal proceedings and no one will have any restrictions. The Georgian people itself will make a choice and no one will be able to derail us from the main course of our progress.
We need support and advice, as well as presence and participation of OSCE and other international organizations for this purpose, because there might be some problems without your involvement. So come and participate, observer, ask questions and we will respond to all of your questions. And most importantly the Georgian people will respond to the entire world during the January 5 [presidential] elections.