Monitoring the Use of Administrative Resources in the 2008 Presidential and Parliamentary Election
TI Georgia monitored the use of administrative resources during the 2008 presidential and parliamentary elections. The monitoring included:
- interviews with the leaders of various political parties participating in the elections, representatives of Georgian and international NGOs involved in election monitoring, and state institutions involved in election administration;
- analyzing the allocation of state funds during the pre-election period based on official documentation;
- analyzing political advertising and coverage of political candidates through selected media outlets;
- analyzing election legislation and the decisions of the Central Election Commission; and
- observing the pre-election activities of the ruling party.
The misuse of administrative resources has been cited as a problem in Georgia in every election since 2003. After the presidential election in January 2008, TI Georgia has made specific recommendations about how to reduce the use of administrative resources during election campaigns. Unfortunately, despite the need and the advocacy work done by both domestic and international organizations on this issue, the Election Code was not modified to limit the use of administrative resources in advance of the parliamentary elections. Rather, legislation has been made more liberal instead of more restrictive. Public officials were still allowed to engage in pre-election campaigning activities, with few exceptions indicated in the law, and election candidates were granted the right to use material-technical resources funded from the state and local budgets as long as these resources are equally accessible for all of them. During both of the elections TI Georgia produced interim and final reports, including separate media monitoring reports. Media monitoring involved three components:
- the quantity of aired programs and printed materials for each of the election candidates, the total time devoted to each on television, and the total area in print media;
- the tone of coverage in print media and on television; and
- the quantity of political advertising, both free and paid, aired on TV and the amount of money in USD that was spent by each political party for commercial advertisements.