Transparency International Georgia’s statement on the current election process (07:00 – 12:00) - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Transparency International Georgia’s statement on the current election process (07:00 – 12:00)

27 October, 2013

Transparency International Georgia is monitoring the presidential elections with the help of 370 local observers. Stationary observers are placed in 300 precincts and are covering 66 of 73 electoral districts. Precincts have been chosen randomly. In addition to the stationary observers, the election process is being monitored by 40 mobile groups. Special attention is being paid to problematic precincts.

At this stage we can say that the presidential election is being held in a generally quiet environment. However, the number of procedural violations has increased compared to last year’s parliamentary election. TI Georgia has observed 20 minor and 22 serious violations at this point, and our observers have filed 22 complaints.

The following issues have been observed in a number of polling stations:

  • Many precincts throughout the country do not have enough ballots (there are more eligible voters registered in precincts than the polling station has ballots), as was the case the last parliamentary elections.

  • The Central Elections Commission (CEC) considers each political party and its candidate as two separate ‘election subjects’ (an election subject is defined in the Election Code and includes political parties, election blocs candidates, and initiative groups of voters) of the presidential elections. Therefore, each presidential candidate has two representatives at the polling station, which in our opinion is a flawed interpretation of Article 42 of the Election Code that contradicts the aim of Article 15, according to which every election subject must be represented by one person.

Serious violations include the following:

1. Observers were not allowed into the station

Transparency International Georgia’s observers and the observers of other organizations were not permitted to enter polling station number 49 in Saburtalo and polling station number 26 in Telavi.

2. Problems with seals

  • At polling station 62 in Bolnisi, the stamps were not cut to create a unique mark before usage, as required. The seal was marked later, however, a sample stamp of this seal was not taken, and no clarification note was written.

  • At polling station 49 in Marneuli, only one seal was cut by the Commission Chairman, the other was used without it being marked through cutting out a segment from the stamp.

3. Campaigning activities by commission members

At polling station 11 in Terjola, a commission member voted outside of the voting cabin and demonstratively circled (marked) the desired candidate’s name. This may be seen as a form of campaigning by the member of the commission.

4. Entering polling stations without verification mark being checked

At polling station 59 in Marneuli and polling station number 32 in Chiatura, some voters were not checked for ink on their hands (to prevent double-voting).

5. Preliminary signing of summary protocol

At polling station number 21 in Chkhorotsku, the summary protocol was signed by 10 o’clock in the morning. The summary protocol was hidden after that but a TI Georgia observer saw it. According to law, the summary protocol should only be completed after votes have been counted and thus should remain blank until then.

TI Georgia will present its evaluation of the election process two more times during the day: press conferences at the NGO Media Center will be live-streamed at 16:00 and 20:00. Also, the overall assessment of the election day will be presented October 28, at 12:30.