OSCE Special Co-ordinator : Observed tracking of voters reinforced concerns about potential intimidation

The second round of Georgia’s presidential election was competitive and candidates were able to campaign freely, however one side enjoyed an undue advantage and the negative character of the campaign on both sides undermined the process, - Kristian Vigenin, Special Co-ordinator and leader of the short-term OSCE observer mission, said at a press conference on Thursday.

“Elections were well administered; yet, the lack of regulation of key aspects of the second round did not provide legal certainty. The campaign was marred by harsh rhetoric. Increased misuse of administrative resources further blurred the line between party and state. Private media continued to demonstrate sharp polarization and clear bias, while the public broadcaster did not ensure editorial independence and impartiality. On election day, voters actively took part and the process was assessed positively, although the observed tracking of voters reinforced concerns about potential intimidation,” Kristian Vigenin said.

According to him, all questions related to the preliminary assessment should be resolved by the government immediately. This applies to the rules of financing, the use of administrative resources. “We have the only goal : to improve the electoral process, strengthen democracy in this country, "Vigenin said.

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