UKCOPENHAGEN, 20 April 2015 – OSCE parliamentarians will conduct an election observation mission to the United Kingdom for the country's general elections on 7 May.

OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Ivica Dacic has designated OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Vice-President George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia) as Special Co-ordinator of the short-term OSCE observers, which comprise 35 MPs from nearly 20 countries.

"Parliamentarians from many OSCE participating States, including my own, have looked to the United Kingdom as a model for parliamentary democracy. But it is important that those countries, too, undergo quality control of their elections and maintain their adherence to election-related OSCE standards. I look forward to leading our observation mission for this hotly contested vote," Tsereteli said.

OSCE parliamentary observers will participate in several days of briefings in London ahead of election day, engaging with experts, representatives of various political parties, members of the media and others.

Observers will then deploy to polling stations in several regions of the United Kingdom on 7 May to observe voting and counting.

The mission will examine the elections and their adherence to democratic commitments contained in the OSCE's 1990 Copenhagen Document.

OSCE parliamentarians also observed the previous general elections in the United Kingdom, in 2010. The vote demonstrated the country's enduring commitment to democracy, the observers said, while noting that reform of the complex electoral system may be needed. They also expressed concern that voters waiting in line at the time polling stations closed were denied the chance to cast their ballots.

Special Co-ordinator Tsereteli has been a frequent participant in OSCE Parliamentary Assembly election observation activities, including last year's missions for the presidential and parliamentary votes in Ukraine and the presidential vote in Turkey. He was also an observer in the United Kingdom in 2010.

In his home country of Georgia, Tsereteli has previously served as a government minister and as deputy chairperson of the parliament.

Since 1993, more than 5,000 OSCE parliamentarians and staff have observed more than 130 different elections in more than 30 countries.

For more information about the OSCE PA's election monitoring work, click here.