Documents

Policy Alert

Political Deadlock After Broken Promise on Electoral System Change

ISFED
caucasuswatch.de

To provide an outlook for the upcoming 2020 elections in Georgia, ISFED describes in this policy paper the current political deadlock in the country caused by the ruling party failing to vote for the introduction of a proportional electoral system. ISFED analyzes a potential solution for this deadlock surrounding the electoral system and necessary changes in the Election Code and political party finance regulations to ensure that the 2020 parliamentary elections are conducted in a democratic, free and fair manner.

 

EPDE Publication

Foreign Observation of the Illegitimate Elections in South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2019

EPDE

In Anton Shekhovtsov’s newest study, he analyzes how the presence of “foreign observers” during the “parliamentary elections” in the so-called “Republic of South Ossetia” and of the “presidential elections” in the so-called “Republic of Abkhazia” in 2019 was underpinned not by the actual need to observe the “elections”, but rather by the intent to mimic legitimate international election monitoring in order to create an impression that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were legitimate independent states. 

 

Presidential Elections

Divisive Narratives on Facebook During the 2018 Elections

ISFED

ISFED released its latest social media monitoring report which focuses on Facebook pages that spread specific value-based narratives such as nationalistic, xenophobic, islamophobic, homophobic, illiberal, and openly anti-western messages. Narratives and propaganda methods used by these Facebook pages are identical to those used by Kremlin across Europe.

 

EPDE Publication

Comparative study on conditions for citizen election observation in the EU–EaP and Russia

EPDE

This comparative analysis by Tatyana Hilscher-Bogussevich of conditions for citizen election observers in the Eastern Neighborhood has found that Russia ranks the worst since there are no legal provisions allowing for civil society to be directly accredited as election observers. There is a similarly restrictive environment in Azerbaijan and Belarus. Other countries of the region rank better and generally facilitate citizen observation, however issues still remain. This study is a first in a series based on the newly launched Catalogue of Recommendations on Electoral Reform.

 

Catalogue of recommendations on electoral reform

Analysis on conditions for citizen observation

EPDE

Analysis including recent reports and recommendations by citizen observer organizations, open source information, and the newly developed Catalogue of Recommendations. Overall findings: Conditions for election observation, both in legislation and in practice, and attitudes towards it vary considerably from country to country. An observed rise in politically-motivated domestic observation can be noted, seriously damaging any credible non-partisan election observation.

 

 

Parliamentary Elections

Working on electoral reform should continue

ISFED

ISFED and partner NGOs have released a statement about the ongoing electoral reform working group and proposed legislative changes drafted by the Georgian Dream. ISFED positively assesses the changes proposed to the Law on Political Unions of Citizens in relation to the change of the political party finance regulations and move to a so called regressive rule of financing. However, draft amendments to the Election Code proposed by the ruling party contain a number of problematic issues and if adopted, they will have a detrimental effect on the electoral environment ahead of the 2020 elections.

 

Parliamentary Elections

ISFED statement on proportional elections with no threshold

ISFED

On June 24, ISFED has released a statement regarding the announcement of Georgian Dream about initiative to introduce proportional electoral system with no threshold for 2020 parliamentary elections. ISFED welcomes the decision to immediately introduce a proportional electoral system. Holding the next parliamentary elections under proportional system is essential for democratic development of Georgia, however decision of eliminating the threshold poses some risks such as fragmentation of parties, difficulty to form government, potential of political crises and instability, etc.

 

By-Election

ISFED By-Election 2nd Statement - by 23:30

ISFED

ISFED presents 2nd statement including assessment of the voting process and PVT results. According to it, while at majority of electoral precincts the Election Day was mostly free from any major violations, the voting process progressed amid tension, especially in electoral districts of Zugdidi and Marneuli. At or near several electoral precincts, physical and verbal confrontation took place, which in some cases was accompanied by commotion at polling places and disruption of voting process.

 

By-Election

ISFED By-Election 1st Statement - by 14:00

ISFED

EPDE's Georgian member ISFED is observing by-elections, which take place 19 May in several electoral districts in Georgia, and presenting its 1st statement about the opening of polling stations and the voting process. ISFED observers were free to access and observe almost all polling stations. They have reported that at majority of electoral precincts, openning of polling stations and the voting process was free from significant violations. At some polling stations procedural shortcomings were found. In most districts, there is a trend of mobilization of party activists outside polling stations, who in most cases are registering voters that arrive at the polls.

 

Presidential Elections

Final report on the 2018 Presidential election

ISFED

The report presents an overview and analysis of the key findings from the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy’s observation mission of the pre-election, Election Day, election runoff and post-election periods of the Presidential election in 2018.  At the same time, it provides assessment of the work of key administrative bodies involved in elections.  Drawing upon the findings, ISFED offers 42 recommendations for improvement of the electoral environment in Georgia. 

 

Presidential Elections

Social Media Monitoring - 2nd Interim Report

ISFED

ISFED started social media monitoring on August 29, 2018 as the official campaign began. At this stage, ISFED monitors only Facebook activity since Facebook is especially popular among different social media platforms in Georgia. This second interim report evaluates trends identified by social media monitoring at the end of the pre-election period ahead of the first round of the presidential election and during the runoff. ISFED continues the monitoring and based on the analysis of information collected, it will present a final report. 

 

Presidential Elections

Election Day Final PVT Results

ISFED

Based on the observation, ISFED can conclude that the tabulation of votes was mostly conducted in compliance with relevant electoral procedures. Similarly to the voting process, number of violations were reported during counting of votes, such as, improper filling of summary protocols and other procedural shortcomings. Incidents of violence were identified in Marneuli and Lagodekhi after closing of polling stations.  ISFED filed 53 complaints with Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs) and 76 complaints with District Electoral Commissions (DECs).   

 

Presidential Elections

ISFED 4th Election Day Statement - 2018 Presidential Runoff - Voting Process and Voter Turnout by 23:00

ISFED

Near the closing of polling stations, ISFED observed isolated serious incidents, such as: loss of table version of the voters’ list, unauthorized intrusion at precinct with an attempt of kidnapping a mobile ballot box. Other violations observed at this stage were mainly connected to the procedural shortcoming.  At this time, ISFED observers have filed 46 complaints with Precinct Electoral Commissions (PECs) and 54 complaints with District Electoral Commissions (DECs). 

 

Presidential Elections

ISFED 3rd Election Day Statement - 2018 Presidential Runoff - Voting Process and Voter Turnout by 19:00

ISFED

According to ISFED observers, the disturbing trend of mobilization of Georgian Dream party activists and so called coordinators outside of polling stations with the purpose of tracking the voters still continues. In isolated cases, PECs members were themselves tracking the voters who came or did not come to the polling stations. This is the continuation of a negative trend established in Georgia and it represents an attempt to control the free will of voters. At the moment of the statement ISFED has filed 37 complaints at the PECs and 38 complaints at the DECs. 

 

Presidential Elections

ISFED 2nd Election Day Statement - 2018 Presidential Runoff - Voting Process and Voter Turnout by 15:00

ISFED

At the moment of this statement, an important trend is the attempts to influence the will of the voters. Similar to the first round of the presidential elections, supporters of Georgian Dream and candidate Salome Zourabichvili, and so called “party coordinators” are mobilized outside of polling stations in various districts. They are tracking the voters who came to the polling stations. ISFED observer also identified a possible case of vote buying near a precinct.

 
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