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Georgian authorities seeks to hold free, democratic elections -- speaker

September 29, 2012, 17:41 UTC+3
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TBILISI, September 29 (Itar-Tass) —— The Georgian authorities seek to hold parliamentary elections in a free and democratic atmosphere, Parliament Speaker David Bakradze said.

“We want as many observers as possible to monitor them,” he told the journalists on Saturday, September 29.

“Foreign observers have noted that the election situation in Georgia is “very tense but at the same time free,” Bakradze said.

He expressed confidence that “voting will go freely and democratically, and foreign partners are playing a big role in this”.

However major opposition parties’ leaders claim that “the election campaign is taking place amidst intimidation by the authorities of opposition activists, their arrests and blackmailing”.

They believe that the authorities “intend to rig votes”.

According to the Central Election Commission, observers from 60 foreign and 50 local organisations will monitor the elections. The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has the largest number of observers – 300, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) 54, and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly 15.

In addition, European Union, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, GUAM, Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and other organisations will monitor the elections.

Officials from European countries, the United States, Latin America and Asia will be present.

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