This preliminary statement is offered by the National Democratic Institute election observer delegation to Georgia’s October 28, 2018 presidential election. The delegation, which included observers from six countries, was led by Per Eklund, former Head of the EU Delegation to Georgia, Ambassador Laurie Fulton, former US ambassador; Dame Audrey Glover, former director of the OSCE-ODIHR; Kenneth Yalowitz, former US ambassador to Georgia; as well as Marija Babic, independent electoral expert; Laura Thornton, NDI global associate and senior resident director in Georgia; and Melissa Muscio, NDI program director for Georgia, Central Asia and Turkey. This statement builds on the findings of four long-term analysts, as well as NDI’s July pre-election assessment mission.
The aims of NDI’s election observation mission are to accurately and impartially assess various aspects of the election process, and to offer recommendations to support peaceful, credible elections and public confidence in the process. The Institute has undertaken its mission in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and its accompanying Code of Conduct for International Election Observers. The delegation would like to stress that this statement is preliminary in nature. The official results are not yet finalized, and any electoral complaints that may be lodged are yet to be adjudicated. NDI will continue to monitor post-election processes, and will issue further statements if needed. The delegation recognizes that it is the people of Georgia who will ultimately determine the credibility and legitimacy of their election.