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IRI Announces Start of International Assessment Mission Ahead of Georgia’s Municipal Elections

September 8, 2021

Tbilisi, Georgia – The International Republican Institute (IRI) today announced the start of its international Technical Election Assessment Mission (TEAM) to assess the October 2, 2021, municipal elections in Georgia. The mission’s deployment follows an invitation from the Georgian Central Election Commission (CESKO) and builds upon IRI’s 25+-year partnership with Georgia, including previous election observation and assessment efforts over the last decade.

“The municipal elections are an opportunity for political parties to campaign on top issues of concern for local citizens,” said IRI Regional Director for Eurasia Stephen Nix. “IRI’s mission will focus on key issues affecting electoral integrity, including election administration and implementation of the 2021 electoral reforms, media freedom and transparency, political party campaigns and campaign finance, and inclusion of underrepresented groups in electoral processes.”

The TEAM is comprised of a diverse group of four long-term analysts from Canada, the U.S., and Poland who will review all phases of the electoral process and issue a series of statements on their findings. Their assessment will be informed by in-depth interviews with government officials, the electoral administration, political party leaders, and civil society and media representatives.

The technical assessment team will conduct its activities in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct for International Election Observers and will base its findings and recommendations on Georgia’s laws, international standards for elections and the commitments made by political parties in the Code of Conduct for Political Parties.

In recognition of the risks posed by COVID-19, IRI has implemented rigorous safety and security procedures and requires the assessment team to adhere to the Georgian government’s health regulations.

About IRI in Georgia

IRI supports a range of programming in the political, electoral and civic space in Georgia, with the aim of supporting political parties to develop issue-based platforms and messaging, increasing inclusion of underrepresented groups in the political decision-making process, bolstering citizen access to accurate and methodologically sound research, and encouraging citizen-centered governance. Prior to the beginning of the 2021 campaign period, IRI assisted parties in revising their party strategic plans, developing effective campaign strategies, drafting citizen-responsive policy platforms, and creating comprehensive communications strategies. In addition to the TEAM, participants in IRI’s YouLEAD youth network are planning to conduct a get out the vote campaign in the regions of Georgia to encourage voter turnout, particularly among young voters.