OSCE SUPPORTS VOTER INFORMATION AND SECURE
BALLOTING PROJECTS FOR GEORGIAN PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS
TBILISI, 16 March 2004 - The OSCE
participating States today made a total of 170,000 euros available
to improve voter information and meet procurement expenses for
Georgia's parliamentary elections, scheduled for 28 March.
Under two agreements signed in the
Georgian capital of Tbilisi today, the amount will fund part of the
Central Election Committee's (CEC) Voter Information Campaign and
Voter Marking activities. The first activity will support the CEC to
raise public awareness and the second protect the integrity of the
elections through voter marking, which will prevent multiple
The agreements were signed by the
CEC Chairperson, Zurab Chiaberashvili, and the Head of the OSCE
Mission to Georgia, Ambassador Roy Reeve.
"We are very grateful for the
speedy and successful assistance by the OSCE for both presidential
and now parliamentary Elections," Chiaberashvili said at the signing
ceremony. "In future, we hope the OSCE will also help carry forward
sound reforms of the election administration, as laid out in our
recent concept paper."
At the last OSCE Ministerial
Council in Maastricht on 1 and 2 December, the 55 OSCE participating
States pledged to support Georgia in conducting this year's
democratic presidential and parliamentary elections.
Through the OSCE Georgia Elections
Assistance Programme (GEAP), which was set up to administer these
special funds, some 2 million euros went towards the presidential
election on 4 January. Another 2 million euros are being used on
support of the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
"These agreements mark the
culmination of this phase of short-term assistance provided through
the OSCE. We now look forward to working closely with the CEC on
sustainable long-term reforms," Ambassador Reeve said.
While today's agreements cover the
last major projects to be signed between the OSCE and the CEC in
support for parliamentary elections, projects funded through the
Programme will continue in the areas of capacity-building for the
election administration, domestic observation and voter education