ISFED (Georgia) publishes its fifth report on the pre-election campaign
During the reporting period ISFED was actively monitoring the course of pre-election campaigning in all election precincts.
ISFED has found particular growth of the pre-election campaign in intensity during the period from September 8, 2013, through October 6, 2013. Varioius political parties and candidates held 253 public meetings, which is approximately three times more than the number of public meetings held over the last month.
During the reporting period ISFED identified five acts of pressure, including four by members of the coalition Georgian Dream against members of the administration and one by supporter of the candidate of the Democratic Movement – United Georgia against socially vulnerable population in villages of Pankisi Gorge, who were forced to attend pre-election meeting.
We also found one case that involved physical assault on political grounds against a member of the Democratic Movement – United Georgia, as well as one alleged pressure against a supporter of the United National Movement.
During the reporting period we found three cases of obstruction of pre-election campaigning. In Zugdidi, Tbilisi and the village of Asureti, Tetritskaro Municipality, pre-election campaigning by Davit Bakradze, UNM’s presidential candidate was obstructed.
We also found one case that involved pre-election campaigning at an improper venue – in the building of a public school in the village of Zani Community, Senaki District.
Similar to the previous reporting period, use of state resources remained an issue. ISFED found four cases that involved use of state resources in favor of the coalition Georgian Dream’s presidential candidate and one in favor of the United National Movement’s presidential candidate.
Notwithstanding the recommendation adopted by the Inter-Agency Task Force, staff changes in self-government authorities continued. In particular, during the reporting period Gamgebelis were replaced in 5 municipalities, Sakrebulo Chairperson was dismissed in 1 municipality and one Mayor resigned.
ISFED was also monitoring operations of the Central Election Commission and believes that the CEC should abolish prior to the presidential elections or comprehensively revise the 2012 resolution about photo and video shooting at election precincts on the Polling Day.
During the reporting period the Inter-Agency Task Force for Free and Fair Elections published a report of its activities. Notably, the report did not include a number of problematic issues presented by ISFED to the IATF.