Statement on Post-Election Developments Related to District Election Commissions
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED), Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) and Transparency International – Georgia have released a statement on developments during tabulation of election results. Currently, appeals are still ongoing at district election commissions (DECs). According to observers as well as media reports, political party activists are assembling outside DECs, frequently acting in an aggressive manner. In particular, rallies demanding annulment of precincts and re-counting of votes are ongoing outside DECs in Martvili, Senaki, Terjola, Ambrolauri, Sighnaghi, Dedoplistskaro, Lagodekhi, Akhalkalaki, Akhaltsikhe, Marneuli and Tetristskaro. Further, there are reports about planned picketing of various DECs. ISFED’s observer in Zugdidi Election District was pressured due to the fact that ISFED’s red logo was associated by a party activist with a concrete political force. We believe that on the one hand, the election administration should ensure that tabulation of votes is conducted in compliance with Georgian legislation and any violations are adequately responded. On the other hand, political parties must call on their activists to refrain from holding rallies outside offices of the election administration, as election disputes must be settled judicially. We call on all parties to turn to legal proceedings for settling disputes. We believe that the situation outside DECs can be de-escalated if both parties act in an adequate manner in response, particularly when the CEC has the right to annul precinct election results based on valid evidence of gross violations, which should have been the case with Sighnaghi. Failure to do so may result in further irritation of political party activists. We also call on all stakeholders to provide us with any evidence and specific facts of violation of election procedures, in order to react jointly in an effective and timely manner. We believe that for a democratic and unbiased election process it is important that both the Election Day and the post-election period are conducted in a peaceful and safe environment.