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OSCE Calls Georgia Elections 'Strongly Competitive' And 'Positive'

International observers monitoring Georgia's parliamentary elections say the October 8 vote was competitive, well-administered, and fundamental freedoms were generally respected but there were also "unacceptable isolated incidents of violence." Speaking at a news conference in Tbilisi on October 9, Spanish lawmaker Ignacio Sanchez Amor, the special coordinator and leader of the short-term observer mission from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), said these incidents "had an impact but, thankfully, [they] did not undermine an otherwise positive election." Sanchez Amor also said that "voting proceeded in an orderly manner but counting was assessed more negatively due to procedural problems and increased tensions." (Reuters)