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CEC Summarized 2016 Parliamentary Elections


Natia Gogolashvili

On January 24, 2017, the Georgian Central Election Commission published the final report on the 2016 Parliamentary Elections. According to the report, the election day was conducted mostly in peaceful environment and voters were free to demonstrate their wills. “However, in the vicinities and nearby territories of several polling stations, we observed some controversies between citizens. Nevertheless, except several cases, the voters were free to demonstrate their will.”

According to the CEC report, 3 513 884 voters were registered in the Unified List of Voters by October 8, 2016 Parliamentary Elections of Georgia. Among them: women were 1 888 975 (53,76%) and men – 1 624 909 (46,24%). In the first round of the Parliamentary Elections, 1 825 054 voters participated in the ballot (51, 94%). As for the second round, 2 421 455 voters were registered in the Unified List of Voters for the second round, and only 908 401 voters (37.51%) participated in the ballot. 

The October 8, 2016 Parliamentary Elections were conducted in 3 702 polling stations. 3 734 ordinary and 11 exceptional polling stations were opened in Georgia for proportional and majoritarian elections. Abroad, 57 polling stations were created in 43 foreign states for the proportional ballot. Among them were 2 polling stations in Afghanistan for the soldiers serving for the Georgian Military Unit deployed there. 

The District Election Commissions (DECs) received total 2 970 182 GEL to fund the costs for the first and second rounds of the elections. By December 29, 2016, the budget received 426 288 GEL back as unspent funds. Factual expenditure amounted to 2 543 894 GEL.

15 269 493 GEL was allocated for the salaries of the PEC members during the first and second rounds of the parliamentary elections. 69 609 GEL was allocated for the salaries of the PEC members and PEC chairpersons of the polling stations opened in foreign countries for the October 8, 2016 Parliamentary Elections.

According to the CEC report, 5 trainings were conducted for the CEC staff members in different directions; finally 222 employees had their capacity built. Capacity-building trainings were conducted for the DEC and PEC members in two phases. 

In the first phase, 912 members of 73 DECs, including 53 main and 20 additional DECs members attended the trainings (coefficient of attendance 96%). In the second phase, 895 members of 73 DECs participated in the trainings (coefficient of attendance 94%). In the first stage the trained DEC members conducted the trainings for the PEC members (August 30-September 7, 2016). The PEC members were trained in the election of the senior members of the commission and received manuals prepared by the training center. In the second phase, (September 10-20), all 13 PEC members were trained about the polling day procedures and competences of the PEC members. 36 995 PEC members attended the trainings (attendance coefficient 78%).

However, regardless that, nongovernmental organizations complained about low qualification of the PEC members when evaluating the election process. GYLA reported that particular attention shall be paid to the selection criteria of the PEC and DEC members and revision of the procedures, capacity building of the commission members.
According to the CEC, the DECs received 135 complaints/applications before the election day. 22 of them were satisfied, 89 were not satisfied, 11 were rejected, 10 were forwarded to other institutions, 3 were withdrawn by the authors. 1168 complaints/applications were filed to 53 DECs on the Election Day (first round). 431 of them were satisfied, 485 were not satisfied, 229 were rejected, 23 were withdrawn back. During the second round of the elections, the DECs received 295 complaints/applications. 124 of them were satisfied, 129 of them were not satisfied, 40 were rejected and 2 were withdrawn. 
The CEC participated in 46 trials from the date the election day was fixed until it was finished.

Administrative Collegium of the Tbilisi City Court partly satisfied 2 applications, fully satisfied 1 application, and rejected 1 application. Court hearing into 1 case was dropped because of absence of controversy; 41 cases were finished in favor of the CEC.

It is noteworthy that different NGOs also indicated at the tendency of unsatisfying the lawsuits. According to the recommendation of the NDI, the administrative bodies responsible for the consideration of election complaints and the court shall promptly, independently and impartially discuss the complaints and in case of necessity apply effective mechanisms to satisfy the complaints.

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