By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Foreign ministers from five of the European Union’s newest member states have been tasked with monitoring preparations for Georgia’s parliamentary elections on October 1.
The Bulgarian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Foreign Minister Nickolay Mladenov will join fellow ministers from Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Romania in traveling to Georgia on September 17 to observe preparations for the vote and show support for reforms “leading to Georgia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.”
The ruling party of President Mikheil Saakashvili is expected to face its stiffest competition since coming to power after the 2003 Rose Revolution, with support growing for the Georgian Dream opposition movement led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned last week the vote would be a “litmus test” for Georgian democracy.