14:11, Thursday, 23.11.2017
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Violations and Tendencies Observed by Human Rights Center

21.10.2017

 
Observers of Human Rights Center monitor the ongoing local self-government elections in two regions of Georgia: Kakheti region - in the villages compactly inhabited with ethnic minorities in Sagarejo, Telavi and Akhmeta municipalities; and in Shida Kartli region – conflict-affected villages in Gori municipality.

By 16:30 pm, observers of the Human Rights Center registered 2 complaints and several remarks notes into the log-book. 

Human Rights Center will publish preliminary evaluation of the election process after the ballot process is over. By now, the election process is going on in mostly peaceful and fair environment in the precincts where HRC has observers. The violations observed by HRC monitors cannot significantly change the final results of the elections.

Excessive activity and attempt to control the voters by the coordinators and agitators of political parties have become an alarming tendency. 

Although the election code does not prohibit presence of the coordinators nearby the polling stations, Human Rights Center will single out the presence of the coordinators of political parties, particularly of the ruling party Georgian Dream, in the vicinities of the polling stations. They record the voters who come to vote, speak with them and sometimes even carry out agitation. Similar facts directly or indirectly hinder the demonstration of free will of voters in the election process.

Georgian Dream’s Candidate Personally Controls the Voters in Karajala

Polling stations # 37, 38, 39 and 54 of Telavi DEC # 17 are located next to each other in the center of Karajala village.

The local election headquarter of the Georgian Dream is also located nearby. Supporters of the ruling party are mobilized in front of their local office. Food was brought to them by mini-bus, so that they did not have to go away and be on the spot to get all information about the turn-out of the voters in all four precincts around the Georgian Dream’s local office

Majoritarian candidate Zurab Musaev with election number 41 is also on the place together with his supporters and he is giving out instructions to the voters in front of the precincts. Allegedly he is conducting active agitation in favor of his candidature. 

Violations in Duzagrama village

Principle of confidentiality was violated in the Precinct # 38 (Duzagrama village) in Sagarejo DEC # 11. Several voters marked election number 41 outside the cabin. After the HRC observer noted about the violation, the voter replied “it is his village and can individually decide how to act.” 

Another voter in the same precinct asked the commission member to teach how to mark the desired election subject. The commission member marked election number 41 teaching her how to mark the candidate.

In the same precinct, a voter arrived without ID card. She was registered in the registration journal and tried to vote but after the HRC observer gave a remark, the voter left the precinct without voting.

HRC observer lodged a complaint about these violations. Commission members denied her to register the complaint. After a resistance, the PEC registered the complaint.

Marked “Doctor”

In the precinct # 38 in Sagerejo DEC # 11 (Duzagrama village) a woman tried to vote for the second time; she had marking ink on the finger. HRC observer noted the commission members not to allow her into the precinct. The commission members initially said the woman was the doctor and she might be marked by another pharmaceutical substance. The fact caused dispute. Finally, upon the categorical demands of the HRC observer, the marked voter was dismissed from the precinct and she was not allowed to vote for the second time. 

Violations in Keshalo village

Person responsible to regulate the flow of voters in the precinct # 41 of the Sagarejo DEC # 11 (Keshalo village) allowed several voters into the polling station together without checking their marking. 

A man accompanied a woman into the polling station, who said they were couple. The PEC members did not ask the man to produce his ID card and did not inquire who his name. He followed the woman into the ballot booth and allegedly he hismelf marked one of the election subjects on the ballot paper.

The person regulating the flow of the voters let a voter into the precinct, who had already voted.

The commission members did not react on the violations

HRC observer lodged a complaint about the abovementioned violations but none of the commission members confirmed the violations.  

Two representative of one political party in one polling station

Georgian Dream had two representatives in the precinct # 23 (Jokolo village) in Akhmeta DEC # 18. After the HRC observer gave a remark, the commission members asked one of the representatives to leave the polling station.

Protest of the election commission member 

In the precinct # 5 (Duisi village) in Akhmeta DEC # 18, there are only 12 members in the commission. Absence of the 13th member of the PEC does not hinder the process but the reason of his absence is curious. The other members called the person on the phone and he said he represented the United National Movement in the Commission, for what he feels a shame and did not appear at the precinct on the Election Day in protest. 

Human Rights Center observes the local elections with 25 monitors. Journalists of the online newspaper humanrights.ge and video-portal Hridc.TV also observe and cover the ongoing local elections. The information about the election process and observed violations provided by the observers and journalists is operatively published on the facebook page of the organization and on the online newspaper www.humanrights.ge in Georgian and English languages; the information will also be sent out to different media organizations.

In Kakheti the mobile groups and stationed monitors observe the election process in the villages compactly settled with Azerbaijani population in Sagarejo and Telavi municipalities and in the villages of Pankisi Gorge, which are mostly inhabited with ethnic Kists and Chechens. In Shida Kartli region, the mobile groups and stationed monitors observe the villages close to the ABL in Gori municipality: Tkviavi, Tirdznisi, Nikozi and others.

The monitors will observe the election process from the moment the polling stations were opened till the final protocols are filled out and signed in the respective precincts. The observers will lodge complaints about observed violations to precinct election commission, district elections commission and the Central Election Commission and will appeal the court in case of necessity. 

Human Rights Center is monitoring the 2017 Local Elections with financial support of the Open Society Georgia Foundation. 


Human Rights Center 

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