Statement on the current election process (12:00-19:30)
At this point, from our observation, we can say that the 2016 runoff elections is going peacefully. By this time, our observers have reported 50 insignificant and relatively serious violations. We have filed 9 complaints.
We have to particularly mention during the whole day there has been a strained environment in Marneuli, precinct 36.22. Supporters of political parties are mobilized outside the polling station. There is a risk of further escalation after 20:00, when the counting commences. Therefore, it is important for law enforcement agencies to be prepared for any possible escalations beforehand.
The relatively serious violations are as following:
Near the polling station in Gori, district - 44, precinct - 42.32, Albert Merebashvili, an activist from the United National Movement, was physically assaulted. According to him, he was attacked by City Council member from the Georgian Dream Koba Berianidze and other individuals. The police have launched an investigation into the incident.
In Khelvachauri, district - 45 and 20, precinct - 72.83, there was a verbal and physical confrontation between the commission members, representatives and voters. At this point the situation is calm.
In Mtskheta, district - 24, precinct - 27.17, the ballots taken along with the mobile ballot box returned with one less ballot to the polling station. The reason is currently unknown.
In Batumi, district - 7, precinct - 69.30, as well as in Mtatsminda, district - 1, 9 and 25, precinct 0.01, and in Isani, district - 35, precinct 09.07, there were 17 observed instances of voters showing up with their fingers inked. In none of the cases were the voters admitted to cast a vote.
In Kutaisi, district - 59, precinct - 38.59, a representative from Georgian Dream was conducting political agitation, calling upon voters to circle 41.
In Samgori, district - 71, precinct - 13.06, an internally displaced person was given the right to cast a vote without a refugee ID.
In Zugdidi, district - 31, precinct - 65.67, an independent member of PEC is at the polling station in a state of alcoholic intoxication. We have filed a complaint. In spite of our indication, the chairperson of the commission did not dismiss the intoxicated member from the polling station.
We once again call on representatives of political parties, their activists and affiliated monitoring organizations to remain calm, to avoid escalation of tensions and support the members of the electoral commission in counting the ballots.
Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) has deployed 250 observers to monitor October 30 Parliamentary runoff elections. Our static observers will cover 197 precincts throughout the country. In addition, 28 mobile groups are mobilized to observe the elections.
TI Georgia will hold one more press conference on October 31 at 11:30 in order to present final assessment of election day developments. Additional statements will be made upon necessity.
Monitoring of 2016 runoff parliamentary elections is possible thourgh the financial support of the following organizations: Polish Aid, SolidarityFund PL, Open Society Georgian Foundation.