Georgia

2018 Presidential Election: Attacks on NGOs and Campaign Violations in ISFED's 2nd Interim Report

On October 8, the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) presented the second interim report of monitoring the pre-election period of the 2018 presidential election of Georgia. The document mainly covers the period of September 9-30 but it also summarizes certain events that affected the electoral process beyond the reporting period.

Through the monitoring, during the reporting period ISFED identified 1 case of confrontation on political grounds; 1 case of possible vote buying; 12 instances of violations of campaigning rules; 9 cases of misuse of administrative resources; 8 instances of interference with campaigning; 14 cases of damaging of campaign materials. An illegal initiative of a political party about bookmaking regarding elections was also detected.

ISFED proposed several recommendations for improving the electoral environment:

•   Government officials should immediately stop harassing and attacking non-governmental organizations. Instead of trying to discredit and harm reputation of monitoring organizations, they should treat civil society with respect.

•   Political parties and electoral subjects should prevent their supporters from interfering with meetings and campaign activities of their opponents; they should avoid such forms of relationships with voters that create risks of vote buying; they should respect electoral legislation urge their supporters not to damage campaign materials of their competitors.

•   Religious and charitable organizations should abide by requirements of the Election Code and refrain from participating in election campaigning in favor of a party or a candidate.

•   Local self-government bodies should prevent campaigning by civil servants during working hours; observe political neutrality and prevent abuse of local budgetary or human resources for advancing party interests; inform local civil servants about their rights and responsibilities during election period.

•   Law enforcement authorities should investigate the possible corruption deal involving the illegal scheme of political party financing immediately and without bias.

See the full report here:

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