Less than seven weeks before the Georgian elections: BUT WHERE IS ODIHR?

The crucial parliamentary elections in Georgia are less than seven weeks away. Campaigning ahead of the tense 1 October poll started in earnest two weeks ago when President Saakashvili named the date. In fact political activity had been going since last May and few doubt that this is going to be a crucial election which will define Georgia for many years to come.

Months ago both the Government and the main opposition forces asked ODIHR to deploy election monitors as soon as possible. A formal invitation was also extended by the Georgian Foreign Ministry in accordance with OSCE procedures. Less than seven weeks ahead of the poll however the Mission has not yet arrived.

There are however some signs of activity. The ODIHR website is advertising for positions for the local support staff of the International Mission. In all 85 positions are being advertised, with applications closing at midnight on 14 August and those recruited expected to start on 17 August. Positions range from Senior political analysts to drivers and translators.

Many think that this time line is not realistic and certainly not conducive to choosing the best people to support the work of the international mission. Since ODIHR has known for months that the election was going to be in October, and given that a decision to monitor has also been taken a long time ago the process could have started long ago.

The 17 August start date indicates that perhaps it will also be around this time that the Core team of the international mission will arrive. Many think that this is too late because a lot of things on-going in the Georgian political scene will directly impact directly the elections.  Hopefully the Mission will still take them into account once its first interim report is published.

Close observers of the OSCE said that ODIHR is not necessarily to blame for these delays since the agency has to work within some rigid bureaucratic guidelines, and has recently been under attack from a number of quarters within the OSCE Permanent Council who are not pleased with how it is conducting election monitoring. Things are expected to get moving once ODIHR announces the name of the Head of the Mission probably in the next days. It is understood that the name of the person concerned has already been communicated to the Georgian Government.

Source: CEW editorial staff.

Local Support  Team for the ODIHR Election Observation Mission to Georgia

Assistants to Core Team Members:

 EOM/GEO Executive Assistant to the Head of Mission – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Administrative Assistant to the Deputy Head of Mission – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Senior Election Analyst Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Senior Legal Analyst Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Senior Political Analyst Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Senior Media Analyst Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Media Monitors – 5 positions,

 EOM/GEO Senior LTO Coordinator Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Parliamentary Liaison Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO National Minorities Analyst Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Data Entry Clerks – 20 positions.

Administrative positions:

 EOM/GEO Security Expert Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Senior Operations Expert Assistant – 2 positions,

 EOM/GEO Junior Operations Expert Assistant – 2 positions,

 EOM/GEO IT and Communications Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Procurement and Contracting Officer Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Finance/Administrative Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Front Office Assistant – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO Driver with own car– 3 positions,

 EOM/GEO Cleaner – 1 position,

 EOM/GEO LTO Assistant-Interpreter – 14 positions,

 EOM/GEO Driver with car for LTO team – 14 positions,

All assignments are temporarily contracted positions and their duration will be for approximately 6-8 weeks for most positions. Candidates for administrative staff positions should be available from 17 August 2012. Candidates for all other positions should be available from 27 August 2012. Candidates must be citizens of Georgia. More information is available on the ODIHR web site www.odihr.pl.