Transparency International Georgia’s Statement on Current Electoral Processes (07:00-19:30)
According to our election monitoring, the second round of 2021 local self-government elections was being held in a largely peaceful environment during the first half of the day, but later the situation became tense at many electoral precincts, with reports of escalating instances of physical and verbal confrontations.
Our observers have reported up to 100 insignificant and relatively serious violations. We have filed 15 complaints. Noteworthy cases of serious violations are the following:
Physical confrontations outside the electoral precincts
Instances of physical confrontations between political party members were observed in Tbilisi outside Electoral Precinct #84 of the #10 Gldani District Electoral Commission, Electoral Precinct #40 of #3 Saburtalo District Electoral Commission and Electoral Precinct #62 of #6 Samgori District Electoral Commission, as well as #15 Electoral Precinct of the #67 Zugdidi District Electoral Commission.
Interfering in the work of journalists
Near the Electoral Precincts #81 and #5 of the #67 Zugdidi District Electoral Commission, Davit Mania, who is a journalist from TV Formula, was obstructed from carrying out his journalistic work by coordinators of the Georgian Dream. Police were present on the scene but did not duly respond to the violation of the journalist’s rights.
At Electoral Precinct #2 of the #33 Kareli District Electoral Commission, TV Monitoring has disseminated a video that allegedly shows a representative of National Movement physically assaulting a journalist from TV Monitoring.
At Electoral Precinct #1 of the #64 Senaki District Electoral Commission, a journalist from Guria News was unlawfully ejected from the precinct on the basis that he was taking a video with his phone.
Interfering in the work of an observer
At Electoral Precinct #7 of the #70 Poti District Electoral Commission, our observer was not allowed to monitor the process and was kicked out of the polling station. The Chairperson of this precinct, Zaveli Gaganidze, was threatening our observer with physical violence. Furthermore, district commission member Natia Chkvaidze, who was also present at this precinct, was also aggressive towards our observer.
Noting down the identities of voters at the polling station
Throughout the country there were reports of civil society observers and commission members unlawfully noting down information about the voters at the polling station.
Namely, observers were standing near the registrars or queue moderators, taking interest in the identities of voters and passing on the information to others. Such instances were observed in the #19 Electoral District in Tianeti and #79 Electoral District in Batumi.
In many precincts at #79 Batumi, #17 Telavi and #20 Rustavi District Electoral Commissions, queue moderators were loudly announcing the voters’ identities, which was noted down by several persons present at the polling station.
Furthermore, at Electoral Precinct #66 of the #20 Rustavi District Electoral Commission, registrars were separately noting down the registration numbers of voters. According to them, this was done at the request of the Chairperson. After our observer’s remark, the registrar stopped noting down this information.
Noting down the voters was an important challenge during the 2017 local-self government elections, as this could be perceived as interfering in the will of the voter and was negatively assessed by local and international observer organizations.
Violating the 100-meter radius from the precinct
Similar to our observations during the first round, party coordinators were observed within the 100-meter radius of the electoral precincts. This is a violation according to new amendments to the Electoral Code.
Admitting voters to the polling station without the check of electoral ink
At Electoral Precinct #15 of the #69 Chkhorotsku District Electoral Commission, up to 10 voters were admitted to the polling station without checking them for electoral ink. We wrote a complaint and requested the disciplinary responsibility of the Chairperson and the commission member responsible for the regulation of the flow of voters.
Violations by observers from observer organizations
At Electoral Precincts in #67 Zugdidi District Electoral Commission, we observed a trend of more than one observer being registered from observer organizations “Green World” and “Public Union for Georgia First”. After a remark from our mobile group, the extra observers were released from the polling station.
At Electoral Precinct #15 of the Zugdidi District Electoral Commission, according to a representative of National Movement, a commotion broke out inside and outside the precinct because an observer from the observer organization “Green Earth Union”, Tinatin Kakachia, was planning on handing out money on the territory of the precinct. The participants of the confrontation were taken to the police for questioning.
At Electoral Precinct #2 of the #79 Batumi District Electoral Commission, a representative from observer organization “Youth for European Future” was standing next to the registrar for a long time, asking voters their names and surnames and noting this information down. At Electoral Precincts #104 and #58, observers from the organization “Youth Initiative for a Future Georgia” and “Green World” were noting down the identities of voters next to the registrar and passing on this information by phone to unidentified persons. After our observer’s remark, they stopped doing the aforementioned.
Multiple voting by a single person
A voter who was registered in the special voters’ list of the Electoral Precinct #36 of the #67 Zugdidi District Electoral Commission, cast a vote in another precinct through the principal list, in addition to casting vote through the special list.
About the Observation Mission
Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) deployed up to 250 observers to monitor the second round of local self-government elections on October 30. Our static observers cover 170 precincts in 28 electoral districts throughout the country. In addition, 30 mobile groups are involved in election observation.
TI Georgia will present the final assessment of the election monitoring on October 31. Additional statements will be made upon necessity.
Moreover, on election day, TI Georgia will run a bilingual (Georgian and English) live blog on its webpage. All statements will also be posted on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
If you detect election-related violations please call us: 2 92 14 03.