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2014

Monitoring of 2014 Local Self-


Government Elections Final Report
2014 Local Self-Government
Elections
Donors:

United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands

Open Society Georgia Foundation
Stages of Monitoring Mission

Pre-election period
Election Day
Post-election period

Pre-Election Monitoring Mission and
Monitoring Methodology

I Round

Monitoring period: April-June, 2014
Scope : 73 election districts
Number of observers: 73 long-term observers (LTOs)


II Round

Monitoring period: June-July, 2014
Scope : 28 election districts
Number of observers: 28 long-term observers (LTOs)


Pre-Election Monitoring Mission and
Monitoring Methodology

The pre-election monitoring focused on:

Use of state resources;
Activities of election administration and election subjects;
Dismissals from work on political grounds;
Formation of voter lists;
Threats/pressure and vote buying;
Monitoring the meetings of parties with voters;
Monitoring of promises made by parties to voters.
Pre-Election Violations
Geographic Distribution of Pre-Election
Violations
Pre-election violations compared to
2012 Parliamentary and 2013 Presidential
Elections
73
17
11
53
14
5
48
7
6
12
3
7
2012 2013 2014
Use of State resources
Pressure/Intimidation
Physical violence
Vote buying

Legislative Reform

Positive aspects of the new regulations introduced in the Election Code
and
other legislative acts:


Establishment of 50%+1 threshold for the election of
Mayors/Gamgebelis;
establishment of 4% threshold for election of all Sakrebulos;
Increasing the number of MPs elected through proportionate electoral
system in self-governing communities up to 15;
That a building designated for housing a polling station should be
accessible to all voters;

Prohibition of placing a campaign office of a party/election bloc/initiative
group in a building that houses a District Election Commission was
prohibited;

Increasing funding for political parties as an incentive to increase the
number of women in politics.




Legislative Reform
Negative aspects of the new regulations:

The inter-factional task force did not take into account
recommendations about the election system, which was the priority
issue;

Initiative groups were prohibited from nominating candidates for
offices of Mayor/Gamgebeli;

The requirement of biometric registration of voters was abolished;

No-confidence motion was introduced against Mayor/Gamgebeli;

Inter-faction group did not discuss such important issue as the
composition of election administration.



Election Administration the CEC
Positive Aspects:

Easy access to the information;



Voter education;


Increasing the number of adapted
electoral precincts in order to
guarantee the equal right to vote.




Main remarks:

Different approaches of the CEC
regarding the registration of election
subjects;

The refusal of the CEC to
adequately react on the illegal
political calls by Chorbishop of
Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia;

The refusal of the CEC to recount
invalid ballots.

Inter-Agency Task Force for Free and Fair
Elections - IATF

Negative aspects of the work of IATF:

o The absence of the implementation of the issued recommendation in the
most cases, as well as lack of monitoring mechanism for the said
recommendations;

o The right of the IATF members to participate in the pre-election
campaigning;

o The absence of any kind of final assessment report regarding the
influence of IATFs work on the pre-election environment and on the
prevention of violations.
Media Environment


Free coverage of the pee-election campaign by the media and the
respect of the requirement of the election legislation;

2 cases of interference on the journalistic work;

Access to the critical media unlike to the 2012 parliamentarian
election.



Women elected for office in the 2014 local
self-government elections and gender
imbalance

8%
15%
92%
85%
Majoritarian
Proportional
Men Women
0
1
12
58
Mayor
Gamgebeli
Election Day - I Round
Scope of the monitoring

1030 election precincts

o 300 PVT polling stations throughout Georgia
o 349 PVT polling stations in Tbilisi city
o Full coverage (372 PECs) of 11 local self-governing cities
o 9 polling stations adopted for persons with disabilities

Monitoring mission

o 1030 short-term observers
o 73 district observers
o 80 mobile teams
o 20 lawyers incidents center
o 20 operators - PVT/SMS Center
Voter Turnout
High Rate of Invalid Ballots and
Irregularities in Summary Protocols
Two main tendencies have been reveled on the Election day:

I - High rate of invalid ballots

The average percentage rate of invalid ballots throughout Georgia was 5%;
The rate of invalid ballots up to 10% were observed at 13% of polling stations;
At 66 polling stations the percentage rate of invalid ballots was up to 14%;
The highest percentage rate of invalid ballots were observed in Sagarejo
district, Samtskhe-Javakheti and Kvemo-Kartli regions.



High Rate of Invalid Ballots and
Irregularities in Summary Protocols


II - More than a thousand irregularities and violations in summary
protocols reported at hundreds of polling stations

Up to 500 summery protocols were missing the necessary attributes;
Figures did not reconcile in up to 500 summery protocols;
One or more data were improperly corrected in up to 50 summery protocols;
The highest number of irregularities in summary protocols was found in
Kvemo-Kartli and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions and in Tbilisi city.


Election Day - II Round
Scope of Monitoring:

o 350 PVT polling stations in Tbilisi City;
o All polling stations (390) in 4 self-governing cities (Rustavi, Mtskheta, Gori,
Ozurgeti) and 7 local communities (Khoni, Baghdati, Tkibuli, Terjola,
Lanchkhuti, Khulo, Akhmeta);
o In the remaining 7 electoral districts (Batumi, Poti, Kobuleti, Telavi, Kvareli,
Martvili, Tianeti) ISFED conducted mobile observation.

The Monitoring Mission

740 short-term observers
21 district observer
32 mobile teams
15 lawyers incidents center
15 operators - PVT/SMS Center


Voter Turnout

Voter Turnout Comparison of the First and
Second rounds in the self-governing cities
37%
36%
55%
35%
49%
34%
34%
47%
40%
51%
Tbilisi Rustavi Mtskheta Gori Ozurgeti
I round II round
I and II Round of Elections: Election Day
and Post-Election Violations and
Complaints

Violations - 398
Comment in the polling day logbook - 91

Total of 236 complaints were filed in respect of 274
violations:

23 filed with PECs
213 filed with DECs


Violations on which most
of the complaints were filed
Improperly drawn up summary protocols;
Number of invalid ballot papers do not match with the
number of voter signatures;
Correcting data in summary protocols illegally;
Improper processing of election documentation;
Voting with improper voter identification;
Casting of vote without applying/checking indelible ink;
Restricting observers rights illegally;
Presence of unauthorized persons at election precincts;
Violation of regulations for sealing election material.
Results of Complaints in PECs and DECs
Out of 23 complaints filed with PECs:

9 complaints were satisfied
14 complaints were rejected and referred to DECs

Out of 213 complaints filed with DECs:

Satisfied - 88
Partially satisfied - 63
Rejected - 51
Left unexamined - 11

Out of 3 complaints filed in court 1 was satisfied


Demands made in ISFEDs Complaints
Disciplinary liability was imposed on 290 members of election commissions,
including 105 PEC chairpersons.

Notice was given in 155 cases as a disciplinary liability;
Warning was imposed in 86 cases;
Salary was deducted in 49 cases, out of which in 5 cases salary was
deducted in full.

Administrative liability was imposed in 1 case;

Annulment of summary protocol was requested in 38 cases, none of which
was upheld. Recount of polling results was satisfied in 8 cases;

Annulment of polling results was requested in 15 cases, which was satisfied
in 2 cases;

In 1 case based on ISFEDs complaint a mobile ballot box was annulled.




Problems/trends identified in the
complaints process for the I and II rounds
of the Elections

Consideration of complaints in DECs was transparent and all
interested parties were able to attend the process and to
express their position about complaints filed.

Nevertheless, there were identified a number of
problems/trends out of which the most important are:

Low level of qualification of PEC members, especially with
respect of summary protocols provided/issued;

Improperly drawn up summary protocols;

Often statements of PEC members about violations they
had committed had been prepared after DEC reviewed
relevant complaint;


Problems/trends identified in the
complaints process for the I and II rounds
of the Elections

During complaints process DECs avoided examining evidence in
a comprehensive manner;

In a number of cases DEC decisions lacked appropriate
substantiation;

In a number of instances law was inconsistently applied by
DECs;

Despite gravity of violation DECs preferred to impose measures
of disciplinary liability;

DECs of Terjola and Lanchkhuti acted in an unconstructive
manner against ISFEDs observers.

Recommendations
Election System

To start discussions for choosing election system in a timely manner;
Working group on election issues should be set up within the parliament of
Georgia, in which all stakeholders will be able to submit their
recommendations and participate in the discussion.

Election Administration

Regulations for recruitment of election administration members at all levels
should be revised. New regulations should focus on recruitment based on
professional qualities;
Number of commission members should be decreased;
It should be mandatory for all commission members to have election
certificates;
More emphasis should be laid on adequate training of PEC members.
Recommendations
Voters List

Conduct of comprehensive door-to-door campaign and use of biometric
information for preparing voter lists;

The authorities, the CEC, in view of interests of voters residing abroad,
should come up with alternative means of voting.

Gender

To increase women involvement in politics, it is important to reform the
existing legislation and introduce election system that will promote increase
of women participation;

Gender quoting regulations should be revised and discussions about
binding quotas should commence.
Recommendations
Changes to be made in the Election Code

To continue working to improve election legislation and election environment,
to improve ambiguous legal norms in the Election Code;

Initiative groups should be allowed to nominate candidates for offices of
Mayor/Gamgebeli;

Public servants participation in election campaigning must be restricted, in
particular, list of political office holders entitled to participate in election
campaign determined by the Election Code should be narrowed down;

Norms that regulate election disputes should be specified in order to prevent
election commissions from wrongfully applying these norms and leaving
complaints unexamined;

Individual polling procedures should be simplified in order to prevent mistakes
by election commission members.



Thank You!