TI Georgia's comment on the appeal filed at Ozurgeti District Election Commission - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

TI Georgia's comment on the appeal filed at Ozurgeti District Election Commission

23 August, 2021


We would like to respond to the briefing held today at the political party Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia regarding the appeal Transparency International Georgia submitted to the Ozurgeti District election Commission.

The appeal concerned the meeting the Georgian Dream Ozurgeti Mayoral candidate – Avtandil Talakvadze held with the medical community. Paragraph 1.d of Article 48 of the Election Code ‘prohibits the gathering of public institution employees on a professional basis, for election campaign’. The ruling party representative stated on the briefing that Mr. Talakvadze held the meeting with the employees of private medical institutions, therefore - he claimed - that the restrictions stipulated by the legislation above were not applicable. However, he also confirmed that ‘several representatives of state-owned medical institutions’ also attended the meeting. The presence of public medical facility employees at the meeting presents a vivid confirmation that the appeal submitted by Transparency International Georgia is well-grounded and requires consideration by the District Election Commission.

It is concerning that prior to the completion of consideration of the appeal, the ruling party eventually alludes to the interpretation of legislation favorable for them, which might be considered as an instruction to the District Election Commission, especially in the circumstances, when there still are questions regarding independence and impartiality of the election administration. We also deem unacceptable the declarations of the ruling party regarding the ‘election monitoring standards’ of the Non-Governmental Organizations, which is yet another attempt to discredit election monitoring NGOs.

We call on the ruling party to stop interfering in the election administration's activities, as well as the attempts to tarnish the reputation of election-monitoring organizations, and to conduct the election campaign in full accordance to the legislation.