|Georgia invites international observers to moniter parliamentary elections|
|May 08, 2012|
The Georgian Foreign Ministry on Saturday sent out invitations to international observers of the country's October parliamentary elections.
Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze sent out invitations to the parliamentary assembly of GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development, a regional bloc which groups Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
He also invited the permanent secretariat of the Community of Democracies, an intergovernmental organization of democracies and democratizing countries established in 2000.
It was an unprecedented practice to send out invitations to international observers seven months before the scheduled elections, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said.
Last month, the ministry sent invitations to the OSCE's office for democratic institutions and human rights, the OSCE parliamentary assembly, the Council of Europe's parliamentary assembly, the NATO parliamentary assembly, the European Parliament and other EU institutions.
As instructed by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian Foreign Ministry said it hopes to welcome an unlimited number of observers as soon as possible, so that they may monitor the developments during the pre-parliamentary elections period as well as during the elections proper.
The long-term observation mission is usually deployed six to eight weeks before elections. In 2008, international observers started monitoring missions five weeks before parliamentary elections.
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