Thirteen members of parliament from five Allied countries will travel to Georgia as observers this week as part of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) delegation for the 31 October parliamentary elections. Turkish lawmaker and Vice-President of the NATO PA, Osman Askin Bak will serve as Head of the NATO PA delegation.
The NATO PA has developed a special and active partnership with Georgia since the late 1990s. Its members regularly engage in close dialogue and active cooperation with the Parliament of Georgia including in the Georgia-NATO Interparliamentary Council. As part of this relationship, the NATO PA has been involved in the observation of elections in Georgia. Its delegations have monitored all parliamentary elections in the country since 2008 and all presidential elections since 2013.
“Democracy, freedom, and rule of law are among the shared values at the foundation of both NATO and the NATO PA. Meeting the highest democratic standards is therefore a requirement to progress towards membership of the Alliance. Through their consistent participation in election observation missions in Georgia, NATO PA members demonstrate their commitment to Georgian democracy and to supporting Tbilisi on its Euro-Atlantic path” stressed Bak.
The NATO PA only participates in election observation in exceptional circumstances, when invited and following an explicit decision by its governing body. In the observation of the Georgian elections as in others, the NATO PA will cooperate closely with the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).
Observers will deliver a post-election statement of preliminary findings and conclusions at a press conference in Tbilisi on 1 November.