IRI Announces Delegation to Observe Georgia’s Parliamentary Elections
IRI’s delegation will be led by U.S. Congressman David Dreier (CA-26) and U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12) both of whom serve on IRI’s Board of Directors. Other delegates are:
- Tharwat Al-Amro, former member of Jordan’s parliament representing the governorate of Kerak’s 2nd District;
- Victor Ashe, former U.S. Ambassador to Poland, member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors;
- Susan Corke, Director for Eurasia programs at Freedom House;
- Eva Gustavsson of Sweden, Managing Director of the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation;
- Barry Jackson, Senior Counselor to Speaker John Boehner;
- Matt Leffingwell, Chief of Staff to U.S. Congresswoman Kay Granger;
- Rachael Leman, Deputy Staff Director for Policy and Strategic Communications for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules;
- Eirik Moen of Norway, Executive Secretary of the International Democrat Union;
- Marijus Petrusonis, Third Secretary with the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
- Robert Thomas of the United Kingdom, advisor in the International Office of the Conservative Party; and
Brad Smith, Chief of Staff to U.S. Congressman David Dreier.
Prior to the election, delegates will be briefed by representatives from the U.S. Embassy, political party representatives and Georgian election officials. They will also be briefed on the rights and responsibilities of international observers and Georgian election law. Delegates will then be deployed throughout the country where they will observe polling stations and identify and evaluate strengths and weaknesses in Georgia’s election system, including campaign regulations, the balloting process, vote tabulation and reporting.
In addition to its international delegation, IRI has also deployed 12 long-term observers to monitor election related activities such as campaigning, rallies and elections preparations. Deployed to six major regional centers since July, these observers are responsible for staying in contact with local political parties and government officials so they can identify and report on any potential roadblocks to open and transparent elections. These observers will also add to IRI’s Election Day efforts and will give the Institute a better understanding of the election environment.
Since 1983, IRI has monitored more than 150 elections in more than 46 countries, including Georgia’s November 2003 parliamentary elections and the January 2008 presidential election.