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OSCE Opens Election Observation Mission In Georgia

Giorgi Margvelashvili, the presidential candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, waves to supporters during a presentation of his election program in Tbilisi on September 19.
TBILISI -- The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe's (OSCE) Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has opened a monitoring mission ahead of the presidential election in Georgia.

Mission head Matteo Mecacci told journalists on September 19 that up to 300 observers will monitor the October 27 poll, including the voting, counting, and tabulation of results.

The mission will stay in Georgia until early November to monitor postelection developments.

One interim report will be issued in mid-October.

Politicians who have already registered their candidacy for the presidential election include former parliament speaker Davit Bakradze, who is a member of outgoing President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement, and Giorgi Margvelashvili, the candidate of Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream.

Saakashvili's party lost control of parliament to Ivanishvili's coalition after elections in October 2012.

With reporting by