GEO

Statement About the Electoral Process (07:00-20:00)

28 November, 2018

 

According to our Electoral Observation Mission, the 2018 Presidential Elections were held in a largely peaceful environment. Our observers have reported up to 120 insignificant and relatively serious violations. We have filed 11 complaints. The following are some of the most serious violations:

Alleged vote buying

During the whole day, there was visible mobilization of presidential candidate coordinators outside of nearly all precincts, which created a tense atmosphere. Moreover, our observers noticed that most of them were standing outside with cars and people could be spotted getting in and out of the cars on a periodic basis. In four cases, according to our observers, the voters received money in the cars. These cases were observed in the following precincts:

  • #1 precinct of the Kareli #33 district
  • #23 precinct of the Abasha #63 district
  • #90 precinct of the Batumi #79 district
  • #11 precinct of the Batumi #79 district

In the #12 precinct of the Sachkhere #50 district, one of the voters, after having casted his/her vote, handed money to the ballot box supervisor. Afterwards, the ballot box supervisor handed the money to an observer and an hour later, part of the money was given to a voter that entered the precinct.

Violation of secrecy of vote

There is an observable trend of violation of secrecy of vote at the precincts. Our observers witnessed, at 14 different precincts, instances of voters leaving the voting booth and showing their open ballot to a commission member, representative of an electoral subject or an observer. These violations have been observed in the following precincts:

  • #49, #45, #15 and #4 precincts of the Gurjaani #12 district
  • #1 precinct of the Akhalkalaki #40 district
  • #83, #10 and #80 precincts of the Zugdidi #67 district
  • #25 precinct of the Ninotsminda #41 district
  • #52 precinct of the Marneuli #22 district
  •  #7 and #3 precincts of the Abasha #63 district
  • #5 precinct of the Tsalka #25 district
  • #20 precinct of the Sagarejo #11 district

In the #52 precinct of the Didube #8 district, Nana Todua, wife of former Zugdidi Mayor Lasha Gogia, uploaded on her FB page a picture of a completed ballot and her ID next to it, as proof that she voted for Zurabichvili.

Noting down the voters in the precinct

There was an observable trend of the queue moderator revealing the identity of voters to the observers. The moderators were either loudly saying the name and surname of the voter or dictating it to observers from different organizations. The following instances have been observed at 11 precincts:

  • #20 and #24 precincts of the Didube #8 district
  • #7, #18, #90 and #98 precincts of the Batumi #79 district
  • #17 precinct of the Akhaltsikhe #37 district
  • #66 and #61 precincts of the Akhaltsikhe #40 district
  • #9 precinct of the Lanchkhuti #61 district
  • #58 precinct of the Marneuli #22 district

Interfering in the work of journalists

There were two instances of interference in the work of journalists, when journalists from TV Pirveli and news.on.ge were not allowed to record video material and an attempt was made to physically assault them. The MIA has started an investigation into both cases.

Attempt to commit election fraud

In the #52 precinct of the Marneuli #22 district, our observer witnessed how a voter was trying to cast several ballot envelopes into the ballot box. After protests from our observer, the voter ran away from the precinct, however, our observer was able to take a picture of him. The MIA has already started an investigation into the case and has identified the culprit.

Refusing observers entry to the precinct

Since the morning, there have been instances of refusing our observers to enter the precincts. Some chairpersons stated that the refusals were based on the expiry date of November 20 printed on the badges. Apparently, these chairpersons were not notified of the CEC’s order that postponed the expiration date of the badges. Following the intervention of the DECs, our observers were allowed entry. The problem was observed in the following 18 precincts:

  • #94 precinct of Zugdidi #67 district
  • #45 precinct of Gldani #10 district
  • #37 and #43 precincts of Saburtalo #3 district
  • #15 and #21 precincts of Zugdidi #11 district
  • #24 precinct of the Didube #8 district
  • #18 precinct of the Akhmeta #18 district
  • #16 and #35 precincts of the Isani #5 district
  • #20 precinct of the Mtskheta #27 district
  • #31 precinct of the Poti #70 district
  • #17 precinct of the Tetritskaro #26 district
  • #23 precinct of the Samgori #6 district
  • #7 precinct of the Adigeni #32 district
  • #35 precinct of the Nadzaladevi #9 district
  • #22 precinct of the Gori #32 district
  • #12 precinct of the Vake #8 district

Violation of the rules for casting of lots

In the #52 precinct of the Sachkhere #50 district, the chairperson of the commission refused to hold a casting of lots for the commission members.

In the #4 precinct of the Kvareli #16 district, the commission members decided to change their allocated functions. The chairperson did not take any measures against this.

In the #49 precinct of the Marneuli #22 district, the chairperson of the commission did not allow female commission members to take part in the casting of lots because it would have been uncomfortable for women to accompany the mobile ballot box.

Use of administrative resources for electoral purposes

In the #67 precinct of the Zugdidi district, a car owned by the Zugdidi Municipality (# ZMG 400) was used during the whole day by Mamuka Tsimintia, Deputy Director of Zugdidi’s Management Center for Improvements. The use of automobiles owned by the state for electoral purposes is prohibited by the Election Code of Georgia and represents the use of administrative resources.

Other violations

In the #20 precinct of the Zugdidi #67 district, one part of the log book was lost and the voting process was stopped. As of the writing of this report, they are waiting for the decision of the District Election Commission.

In the #69 precinct of the Akhalkalaki #40 district, a commission member entered a voting booth and found an already filled-in ballot paper there. The commission member took the paper and handed it to our observer, who tried to take a picture, however the chairperson of the commission intervened, took the ballot paper and hid it.

In the #26 precinct of the Batumi #79 district, one of the observers was expelled from the precinct, on the premise that he was disturbing the electoral process. Our observer states that he hadn’t violated any rules.

About Our Observation Mission

Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) deployed 350 observers to monitor the November 28 second round of Presidential Elections. Our static observers covered 300 precincts throughout the country. In addition, 45 mobile groups were also involved in the monitoring of this
election.

On November 29 at 11:00, TI Georgia will present a final assessment of the election day.

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