Georgia

Parliamentary election a step backwards in terms of democratic elections

Preliminary Central Election Commission results showed Georgian Dream dominating in all 17 districts. Source: rferl.org

 

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) was monitoring parliamentary election runoffs in 17 majoritarian districts through 35 mobile teams.

At the second round of the elections, held without any real competition, coordinators mobilized outside election precincts continued to be a problem. This practice has been criticized for years and has been evaluated as a mechanism for exerting pressure on voters’ will. Elimination of the practice depends on the will of political parties not to use such means for controlling voters. Unfortunately, even in such non-competitive elections, the ruling party did not abandon the practice of mobilizing coordinators to record voters in an attempt to ensure turnout.

In addition, through its small-scale observation mission ISFED has observed grave violations of duplicate voting (the so-called carousel), as well as vote buying. It should be noted that identifying such facts on Election Day is very difficult. Aggressive attitude toward observers outside of polling stations was still observed.

It is safe to say that irregularities and problems found in the first round of the elections persisted in non-competitive elections as well. This more vividly shows how problematic the 2020 parliamentary elections were and confirms that irregularities found during the first round were not an exception but rather, they have become a trend. It further supports the evaluation that the elections were a step back on the path to democratic elections, which we evaluate as clearly negative.

Observers have identified the following irregularities:

Party coordinators were mobilized at election precincts #3, #4 and #6 of Akhmeta election district #17allelection precincts of Kvareli #16 and Telavi #17 election districts; election precincts #14 and #26 of Zugdidielection district #67; election precincts #01, #02, #03, #06, #08, #15, #35, #58, #48, #74, #73, #30, #37, #39, #52, #55 and #61 of Batumi election district #79; election precincts #11, #18; #21, #22, #23, 29, #30, #31 and #32 of Krtsanisi election district #4; election precincts #43 #58 and #59 of Samgori election district #6; election precinct #09 of Kutaisi election district #59; election precincts #19 and #20 of Zestaponi election district #51; election precinct #4 of Tkibuli election district #57; election precincts #3, #13 and #14 of Baghdati election district #52; election precincts #2, #5, #7, #10, #11, #20 and #44 of Khashuri election district #35;election precincts #3; #4 #11, #12, #13, #15,  #17, #18, #36 and #37 of Rustavi election district #20; election precincts #1, #10; #16, #18, #19, #20, #21, #22, #25, #26, #32, #33 and #35 of Lagodekhi election district #15.

According to ISFED observers, in Kutaisi, employees of non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities of the local self-government are required by their supervisors to go to the polls. In addition, manager of ShuakheviUchanba kindergarden ordered the employees to go to the polls and cast a ballot.

At the election precinct #26 of Shuakhevi election district #82, Georgian Dream representative was recording voters that arrived at the polling station.

In addition, voters were transported to polling stations by minibuses at election precincts #26 and #27 of Shuakhevi election district #82, election precinct #25 of Khulo election district #84 and election precinct #37of Khelvachauri election district #83.

Outside election precinct #73 and #106 of Zugdidi election district #67, feasts were laid on and commission members administered voting process in a drunken state.

Coordinator mobilized outside the election precinct #6 of Telavi election district #17 told a police officer that he had already brought 240 voters and he was expecting 40 more voters.

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