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JOINT STATEMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS HOUSE TBILISI AND HUMAN RIGHTS HOUSE FOUNDATION

15.12.2020

 
Joint Statement of Human Rights House Tbilisi and Human Rights House Foundation:

Statements and actions in response to the publicly acknowledged error in the parallel vote tabulation report (PVT) by the “International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)” must not go beyond those which are acceptable in healthy debate and criticism.

Human Rights House Tbilisi, on behalf of its member organizations, and Human Rights House Foundation find the developments following ISFED’s statement on December 11 alarming. Recent statements by prominent politicians and parties go beyond healthy debate and criticism and try to discredit not only the organization but the civil society in general.

ISFED monitored the October 31, 2020, parliamentary elections and released the results of the parallel vote tabulation (PVT) on November 1. Later, on December 11, the organization reported that as a result of the internal audit “a technical fault was identified in the vote calculation formula…and the correction insignificantly altered the percentage points of votes received by the electoral subjects.”

We believe that after dissemination of the statement, the discussion on this fact has been unhealthy. Instead of discussing specific facts concerning the PVT, statements and actions are seeking to discredit and attach the general activities of the organization, including mentioning possible investigation, and the entire civil society sector. The organization has made a public statement about the mistake, which we welcome. ISFED has been monitoring the fair conduct of elections in the country for 25 years and we hope that the organization will be able to continue this important activity in a safe environment and to inform the public about the causes and consequences of the above-mentioned shortcoming.

This is a time of frequent attacks and harassment against civil society – and the non-government sector especially – in this country. Such rhetoric by government officials following ISFED’s public statement adds to this trend and poses an even greater threat to civil society and human rights. Government officials should focus on building democracy and ensuring the rule of law in the country.

Human Rights House Tbilisi (signed by these member NGOs):

  • Human Rights Center
  • Rights Georgia
  • Media Institute
  • Sapari
  • Georgian Centre for Psychosocial and Medical Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (GCRT)
 
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