European monitoring group says elections were “well organised”

Head of the Council of Europe Monitoring Mission Joe Vinen. Photo by, 16 Jun 2014 - 18:50, Tbilisi,Georgia

An international election monitoring team says the 2014 municipal elections were "well organised” and generally held in peaceful environment.

The Council of Europe Monitoring Mission team presented the results of their election monitoring mission at a press conference today. Head of the European Council delegation, Joe Vinen, said despite a few instances of violence in the pre-election environment and on Election Day, yesterday’s elections were successful.

The 22-person mission monitored 150 polling stations across the country to observe Georgia’s local self-government elections on June 15.

At today’s press conference the group emphasized the positive work of the Central Election Commission (CEC) and said it had "progressively managed the electoral process”. The group congratulated the CEC for its hard work to prepare the election in a challenging environment.

Vinen said on Election Day, no pressure had been exerted on the Georgian public to force or influence them to vote for a certain candidate or political party.

"This is a step forward. We recognize that the Georgian Government spared no effort to prevent [the elections from being falsified],” Vinen said.

While a couple of minor incidences were recorded in the pre-election environment, no major violations were detected by the monitoring team. The group only discussed one incident that took place at N82 polling station in Rustavi.

Overall, the European Council delegation said the electoral process had been "well-organised”.

The delegation carried out a pre-electoral observation mission in Georgia on May 28 and 29. At that time the group met with Georgian authorities and assessed how the country prepared for the local elections.