14:11, Thursday, 23.11.2017
YouTube
Twitter
Facebook
RSS
ქართული English

Web Portal on Human Rights in Georgia

Go
Advanced Search

Preliminary Assessment of the 2017 Local Self-Government Elections

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 20:00 pm, observers of the Human Rights Center registered 3 complaints and several remarks notes into the log-book. 

Now, the HRC monitors observe the process of opening the ballot boxes and counting of the votes. The monitors will stay in the precincts till the final protocols are filled in. The complaints about the violations will be lodged to the PECs, DECs and CEC. In case of necessity, Human Rights Center will appeal the court. 

According to the preliminary evaluation of Human Rights Center, the polling process was carried out mainly in peaceful and fair environment in the polling stations where our monitors observed the process. The observed violations cannot substantially influence the final results of the elections. 

Particularly noteworthy is the peaceful and fair election process in the villages of Pankisi, where the situation was calm in the vicinities of the precincts too. 

The election process was carried out in peaceful environment and without incidents in the ABL villages of Gori municipality (Tirdznisi, Tkviavi, Nikozi, Pkhvenisi, etc).

The problems were mostly observed in the villages compactly inhabited by Azerbaijani population in Sagarejo and Telavi municipalities. There, on the one hand incompetence of the commission members and on the other hand low public awareness and lack of knowledge of the election legislation by the voters caused conflicts, tensions and in some precincts we observed violations. 

Excessive activity and attempt to control the voters by the coordinators and agitators of political parties have become an alarming tendency. We can say that in Georgia we have a new profession – “Counter of the voters” the people who are “trained” in the offices of the political parties in between the elections and during each election they are deployed in the precincts to control the turn out of the voters and count their number. 


Photo: Napareuli village, precinct # 50 of Telavi DEC # 17. “Counters of the voters” are waiting for the voters before the polling station opens

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.

Like 2013 Presidential, 2014 local and 2016 parliamentary elections, HRC monitors observed fewer ballot papers in many polling stations than the number of voters registered in the respective polling stations. Although, all voters never go to the elections, it is important to implement the law requirement and avoid all risks which may the voters encounter in the voting 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. 

Restricted right to vote

In the precinct # 37 of Telavi DEC # 17 (Karajala village) a voter arrived, who was not marked, but the PEC chairperson did not allow him to vote because somebody had already signed in his box on the voters’ registration list.

The PEC chairperson told HRC observer the registrar was tired and he had already written explanation letter about similar mistake and did not want to write second one. After the HRC observer demanded, the PEC members called the DEC and received instruction to allow the voter to vote. After that the voter managed to vote and the commission member wrote one more note. HRC observer wrote a note in the log-book.

Half an hour before the polling process finished, the similar incident repeated – a voter without marking arrived but his box was already signed. The PEC members did not allow him to vote and the HRC observed lodged a complaint. 

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.

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


Print Send to Friend Send to Facebook Tweet This
Leave your comment
Your name:
Your comment:

Security code: Code
OTHER NEWS
POLL
How should the president of Georgia be elected?
through elections (by the population) through indirect election (by the Parliament of Georgia)

BLOG

Disbelief based on partiality Reality is different
In recent days, Campaign This Affects You has become more active for the society. A new slogan has appeared on the famous label
Detailed...
Fragile Peace in Balkans
Hungry Commission Members and Commission Chairpersons Angry with Observers in Batumi
Archive




EDITORIAL

Forgotten by government veterans
Every year, fewer and fewer veterans of the World War II meet the Victory Day. The society receives information about them only on
Detailed...
Villages of the Hopeless
What happened to Dream of Justice Revival?
Archive
THEMES
CATEGORIES

Copyright © 2004 - 2017 HRIDC