International observers confirm results of ‘vibrant elections’

By 5pm, more than 1.4 million citizens had cast their vote, said the Central Election Commission. Photo by N. Alavidze/, 10 Oct 2016 - 11:34, Tbilisi,Georgia

Monitoring groups and thousands of international observers have confirmed the October 8 Parliamentary Elections in Georgia expressed the will of the Georgian people and reaffirmed the country's democratic credentials.

Statements by the European Union (EU), NATO, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), and Council of Europe, as well as those from domestic election observers, made over the past 24 hours since the polling stations closed, were welcomed by the Government of Georgia.

We do not yet have the final results but according to preliminary results we have convincingly won the elections. This brings us both great joy and even greater responsibility and our team will work tirelessly to justify this trust,” said Georgia's Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili.

Nearly 30,000 non-partisan observers monitored the Saturday's vote, coming from 111 local and 55 international organisations. In total 5,368 representatives of 184 international and domestic media organisations also covered the election on October 8 and the lead up..

The most respected local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) found "despite isolated incidents, the pre-election period was competitive, open to all political parties, and characterised by a pluralistic media environment”.

After the vote Georgia’s principal election NGO observer, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) said its monitoring team confirmed results announced by the Central Election Commission and that any incidents "were isolated cases and they could not have substantial influence on the proportional election results”.

See the latest election results published by the ISFED on its official Twitter page.

In a separate post-election statement, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights said the elections in Georgia were "competitive, well administered, and generally respectful of the fundamental rights of the people of Georgia”.

Similarly, the US International Republican Institute (IRI) also said the preliminary results "appear to reflect the will of the Georgian people”.

United States NGO, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), said "following a vibrant and competitive campaign, citizens were able to cast their votes freely, and in most places, counting proceeded in a calm and orderly manner”.

Head of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s election mission Paolo Alli said:

Georgia has reaffirmed its status as the leader of democratic transformation in the region. Conduct of this election is greatly encouraging for all those who support Georgia on its path towards Euro-Atlantic integration."

Georgia’s PM thanked all organistions, local and international, for observing the electoral process in Georgia.

According to all the evaluations, the elections in Georgia were transparent, free and democratic. This proves we created and ensured a democratic pre-election environment and the elections themselves were free and fair," said Kvirikashvili.

He condemned the several violations that took place on Election Day and said "such facts” did not influence the results of the elections.

Georgia’s PM thanked all organistions, local and international, for observing the electoral process in Georgia. Photo by the PM's press office. 

Looking ahead, it was highly probable a second round was needed in some districts, and Kvirikashvili hoped voter turnout would high in this next round of voting.

In many districts the second round is expected to be carried out. This is because we deliberately raised the threshold to 50 percent to ensure there was high level of democracy and legitimation,” said Kvirikashvili.

Saturday's election was the third consecutive national election judged to be free and fair since Georgian Dream came to power in 2012. The Government of Georgia believed these successes were due to the deep democratic reforms the Government has implemented over the last four years.

You can find an updated overview of the reforms here.