The process of electing a new CEC chairperson and members will not restore confidence in the election administration - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

The process of electing a new CEC chairperson and members will not restore confidence in the election administration

27 July, 2021


The process of electing the chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) and two members of it has been going on for the last few weeks, however, so far none of the candidates has been able to gain the support of a sufficient number of MPs ( ⅔ or ⅗). It looks like the process will end next week and three candidates backed by the ruling party will be selected by a simple parliamentary majority. This is not in line with the spirit of the so-called Charles Michel Document and shows that the ruling party does not aim to select persons for these important positions based on political consensus. Therefore, the lack of trust from the wide range of political parties and the public in the CEC will remain a problem.

The assumption of such a result arose after the ruling Georgian Dream party, bypassing the Charles Michel Document, adopted a regulation that simplified the possibility of electing the CEC Chairperson and members by a simple parliamentary majority - 76 votes. In particular, the final version of the Electoral Code reduced the length of time provided for in the Charles Michel Document to reach a political compromise for the approval of candidates. According to the Charles Michel Document, there should be a 4-week interval between each parliamentary vote, which was eventually reduced to 1 week. The action, in fact, removed the ruling party from the necessity to reach an agreement with other parties.

This assumption was further reinforced by the composition of the Selection Commission created under the President, which ultimately approved the nomination of candidates who were not supported by either representative of leading non-governmental organizations working on election issues or the parliamentary opposition. All three candidates are current CEC employees who found it very difficult to critically evaluate the CEC's past work during their interviews.

Staffing the CEC without a political consensus and by violating the Charles Michel Document would deepen mistrust towards the election administration, which would negatively affect the country's electoral environment and cast doubt on the expectation that the election process would be fair and competitive.

elections, CEC