A statement about the processes that took place at the District Election Commissions after the elections
The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, the Georgian Young Lawyers Association, and Transparency International Georgia are releasing a statement in connection with recent developments related to the processing and verification of election results.
At present, the process of reviewing complaints is under way in the DECs.
According to information provided by election observers, as well as media coverage and news reports, it is clear that activists of different political parties are holding gatherings outside DEC buildings across the country, and that they are sometimes acting in an aggressive or intimidating manner. Specifically, protests demanding the cancelation of the results of certain precincts, or the recounting of votes, are being held at the DECs of Martvili, Senaki, Terjola, Ambrolauri, Signagi, Dedoplistskaro, Lagodekhi, Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, Marneuli, and Tetritskaro. There have also been reports of a forthcoming plan to picket numerous DECs. In the electoral district of Zugdidi, an observer from the organisation ISFED was subjected to intimidation when a party activist associated the organization’s red logo with that of a certain political party.
We believe, firstly, that the election administration must ensure the counting of votes takes place in accordance with the Georgian legislation and that election authorities must respond adequately to any violations uncovered and, secondly, that the political parties must call on their activists to refrain from gathering outside the buildings of the election administration, since disputes related to the election results should only be resolved through the appropriate legal channels.
We call on both sides to only use the established legal procedures, as provided for by Georgian legislation, when resolving their disputes. We believe that if both sides respond appropriately, it is possible to diffuse the present tension at the DECs, especially as the Central Election Commission is authorized to cancel the results of certain precincts on the basis of conclusive evidence of serious violations, which should have happened in the case of Signagi. Failure to take this action on the part of the CEC will only serve to further irritate party activists and increase the tension between these groups.
We also call upon the interested parties to supply us with any relevant documents and materials if they have concrete information or evidence demonstrating that violations of the electoral procedures have occurred. This will allow us to make an effective joint response to these incidents in a timely manner.
We believe that in order for the electoral process to unfold in a democratic and unbiased way, it is important to maintain a peaceful and secure environment. This should apply both to the election day itself and to the period afterwards.