Burjanadze Meets Election Watchdogs

Georgia Materials 9 February 2008 04:34 (UTC +04:00)

( Civil ) - Georgian Parliamentary Chairperson Nino Burjanadze held talks with local election observer organizations on February 8 to discuss upcoming parliamentary elections.

The meeting came few days after four election watchdog groups - the Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA); New Generation-New Initiative (nGnI); Transparency International Georgia and International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) laid out ten pre-conditions they consider necessary for free and fair elections this spring.

Koki Ionatamishvili and Giorgi Chkheidze, head of nGnI and GYLA, respectively, said after the meeting that among other things issue of improving process of consideration of observers complaints by the courts and election administrations, were discussed during the meeting. Election watchdog groups have complained after the January 5 presidential elections that most of their complaints were unfairly and arbitrarily dismissed by the election administrations on procedural grounds.

Nino Burjanadze told journalists after the meeting that she decided to set up a special working group that would work on improvement of the election code. I am working actively in all directions in order to use the entire period before the parliamentary elections for removing all the shortcomings, she said.

She also said that the authorities were ready to address all those shortcomings outlined in the reports by the OSCE/ODIHR observation mission during the January 5 presidential election. Burjanadze also called on the international community to send as much observers as possible to monitor the parliamentary elections this spring. There should be international observers at each precinct, Burjanadze said.