Recommendations on the Electoral Administration Strategic Plan - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო
GEO

Recommendations on the Electoral Administration Strategic Plan

07 September, 2011

Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) welcomes the publication of the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) strategic plan for 2011-2015 and hopes that the final document will reflect the remarks made by civil society.Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) welcomes the publication of the Central Election Commission’s (CEC) strategic plan for 2011-2015 and hopes that the final document will reflect the remarks made by civil society. First of all, we would like to note that the document is general in its content, unlike the goal-specific strategic plan for 2010-2011. We agree that the plan should be flexible and open to changes, however we think that several issues should be added to the already-existing goals. Electoral dispute The CEC’s 2010-2011 strategic plan included issues related to electoral disputes, specifically aiming to improve the mechanisms of dispute settlement. Throughout 2010, a special working group of local non-governmental and international organizations collaborated with the CEC and it is desirable to recreate this working group in a broader format. It could work on issues such as drafting guidelines, putting out recommendations based on a study of disputes and decisions. Such a working group would guarantee civil society’s involvement, and would also allow the CEC administration to receive independent assessment and recommendations from organizations actively involved in improving the electoral environment. TI Georgia believes that such groups should exist on the level of district electoral commissions. Unified voter list During the 2010 election period, the Central Election Commission, political parties, and non-governmental organizations all intensively cooperated to improve the electoral list. As a result, there were advances on this issue. Nonetheless, the unified voter list still remains a concern. It is desirable that the CEC’s strategy includes the amelioration of the electoral list. We hope that all the necessary steps that cannot be mentioned in detail in the general strategic plan will be included in the action plan. Working on legislative amendments The electoral administration directly executes the law and is the body most likely to encounter gaps and conflicts within the electoral code. Thus it is desirable that the electoral administration be actively involved in the group working on changes to the electoral code. This isn’t a new practice for the CEC since in 2010-2012 it cooperated with district electoral commissions to work out several recommendations. However, the majority of those recommendations were ignored during the work on the revised electoral code. It is necessary to increase the role of the electoral administration in the 2011-2015 strategy plan. This will ensure that the Venice Commission’s recommendations for improving the electoral system will be acted upon. Civil society involvement One of the strategic plan’s goals is close cooperation between interested sides. Transparency International Georgia welcomes this approach and believes that active relations with the civil sector should be pursued by the district electoral commissions as well. It is desirable for each district commission to actively update its website with complete information, and to use social networks. It is worth noting that the electoral commissions make important decisions and handle important public documents (party finance reports, statements by observer missions, complaints, decisions, etc). TI Georgia recommends proactively making those documents available to the public and distributing them through electronic media. Civil monitoring The CEC’s 2010-2011 strategic plan includes civil monitoring of electoral procedures. It is worth noting that the electoral administration has made several steps in this direction: creation of a complaint registry, unified electronic voter list, online-operator services, and so on. However, there is a lot more that can be done. Specifically, TI Georgia underlines the importance of creating an electronic database for party financing that will allow reporting to take place online. This will make it easier to access this information. We hope the action plan reflects such goals and that civil monitoring will be included in the 2011-2015 strategy as it has been in the past years. TI Georgia believes that the aforementioned recommendations should be reflected in the 2011-2015 strategic plan. We are ready to be involved in the action plan drafting process.

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