Instances of Harassment/Intimidation, Violence and Vote Buying in ISFED’s First Interim Report
On July 26, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) published its first interim report of pre-election monitoring for October 8, 2016 elections.
During the reporting period ISFED identified 2 cases of intimidation/harassment based on political affiliation, 3 cases of dismissal from work on alleged political grounds, 2 instances of violence, 2 cases of possible vote buying, 5 cases of participation of unauthorized individual in canvassing, and 2 cases of use of administrative resources.
The report also summerizes changes in local budgets in some municipalities and scaling up of social and infrastructural projects. Although the Election Code prohibits such changes within 60 days ahead of elections, activation of social campaigns and mobilization of budget funds for social projects lead us to believe that initiation or expansion of social projects in some municipalities has to do with the formal launch of the pre-election campaign. ISFED found 8 such cases during the reporting period.
ISFED’s long-term observers attended 52 public meetings of electoral subjects that took place during the period of July 1-18, 2016. The report outlines pre-election promises made by political parties during these public meetings.
In July 2016, series of amendments were made to the Election Code of Georgia but no fundamental changes have been made for substantial improvement of the electoral environment, including for electoral system reform and promotion of women representation in the parliament.
ISFED will address local self-governments, electoral subjects and the Inter-Agency Task Force with recommendations about issues highlighted by the monitoring report.
ISFED carries out the pre-election monitoring in all electoral districts of Georgia through 68 long-term observers.
This report is made possible by the support of the American people, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The views expressed in this report reflect those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USAID, the United States Government and the NED.