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International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy

Pre-Election Monitoring of October 8, 2016 Parliamentary Elections


Third Interim Report
August 9 September 1

Publishing this report is made possible by the generous 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 belong solely to ISFED and may not necessarily reflect the views of USAID, the United
States Government and NED.

I.

Introduction

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) has been monitoring October 8,
2016 elections of the Parliament of Georgia and Adjara Supreme council since July 1, with support from
the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Endowment for
Democracy (NED). The third interim report of the pre-election monitoring covers the period from August
8 to September 1, 2016, as well as developments that began to unfold before August 8 and continued
during the monitoring period.

II.

Key Findings

During the reporting period a special electoral regime came into effect. In particular, the prohibition to
amend budgets and increase the amount of unplanned welfare benefits became effective, special media
regulations started to apply, and the staffing of precinct election commissions (PECs) by district level
commissions (DECs) was completed. In addition, registration of electoral subjects came to an end: a total
of 6 electoral blocs and 24 parties will be competing in the parliamentary elections of Georgia1.
Significantly increased the election campaign. ISFED observers monitored 439 public meetings in the
period of August 8 September 1.
As the electoral campaign moved into a more active phase, instances of alleged political
intimidation/harassment against members of opposition parties and their activists grew considerably.
Three incidents provided in this report suggest that law enforcement officers possibly exceeded their
official powers. In addition to instances of campaign interference, in several cases offices of opposition
parties were vandalized, putting free and fair electoral environment at risk. The reporting period saq
several instances where campaign materials were damaged; no such violation had occurred before, during
initial stages of the pre-election campaign. ISFED identified 11 instances of alleged political
harassment/intimidation, 2 cases of physical violence, 1 case of possible vote buying, 5 cases of
campaigning by unauthorized persons, 4 cases of misuse of administrative resources, 7 cases of
campaign interference and 5 cases of damaging campaign materials.
To summarize key trends:

In three out of six cases of direct campaign interference and vandalism on party offices, United
National Movement (UNM) offices were targeted; in two cases, meetings of the Georgian Dream
candidates with voters were disrupted. Effective and timely investigation of these incidents,
identification and prosecution of perpetrators is especially important for prevention of any similar
violations in the pre-election process;

Harassment/intimidation of opposition party members and activists became more frequent during
the reporting period. Three out of eleven cases reported by ISFED, involved police officers that
allegedly intimidated/harassed political activists. Incidents identified by the organization contain
signs of a criminal offence and call for timely and effective response by law enforcement
authorities.

Campaign materials were destroyed in 5 cases, against the recommendations of the Interagency
Commission for Free and Fair Elections. All incidents are currently under investigation but the
authorities have not yet released any information about the status of these investigations. On July

List of the electoral subjects is available at: http://cesko.ge/eng/list/show/108519-saarchevno-blokebi-romeltatsmimartes-tseskos-2016-tslis-8-oqtombris-saqartvelos-parlamentis-archevnebshi-monatsileobis-miznit


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29, the Interagency Commission addressed political parties, electoral subjects and local selfgovernment bodies, urging political parties and local self-government bodies to issue clear
instructions that categorically prohibit their activists/representatives from destroying competitors
campaign materials or obstructing placement of such materials. 2

During the pre-election period, another case of vote buying was identified by ISFED. Despite
multiple prohibitions in the electoral legislation, the Alliance of Patriots attempts to entice voters
by providing free food. Vote buying, as the most severe form of political corruption, jeopardizes
equal electoral environment, impacts free expression of voters will, obstructs development of
political culture and poses a fundamental obstacle to political and economic development of the
country.

Several irregularities were revealed in the practice of registration of electoral subjects at the
Central Election Commission (CEC). Upon examining registration documents of the political
union the Centrists, ISFED found that the CEC registered the party as political subject based on
insufficient and unreliable documents. Information provided by the Public Registry presents
grounds for abolishing electoral registration of yet another political party. It should also be noted
that the Resolution #60/2016, adopted by the CEC on August 24, clearly put into disadvantaged
position those electoral subjects that have to participate in casting of lots in order to receive their
electoral number.

The process of composition of PECs by professional members went with irregularities which
raised important questions about the political impartiality of the PEC members. ISFED found out
that selection of professional members at some PECs was conducted on the basis of pre-made
lists. Opposition representatives allege that the lists were dominated by family members and
relatives of Georgian Dream activists.

Recommendation of the Commission is available at: http://www.justice.gov.ge/News/Detail?newsId=5251


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III.

Recommendations

Law enforcement authorities should:

investigate instances of possible misconduct and exceeding of official power by law enforcement
officers, summarized in this report.

The Central Election Commission should:

ensure full abidance by electoral legislation and maximum observance of equality of electoral
subjects before law.

Political parties, electoral subjects and their representatives should:

eliminate any forms of relationship with voters that pose the risk of vote buying;
refrain from mobilizing their activists in connection to meetings of opposition parties with voters,
and staging counter rallies, which heightens risks of confrontation and violence.

Individuals unauthorized to participate in campaigning as defined by the Election Code should:

abide by applicable requirements of the Election Code and refrain from participating in the preelection campaign.

Local self-government authorities should:

prevent participation of public officials in campaigning during working hours;


maintain political neutrality and prevent misuse of municipal financial or human resources to
advance political party interests;
instruct local self-government employees about their rights and responsibilities during preelection period.

The Inter-Agency Commission for Free and Fair Elections and the law enforcement authorities
should:

examine all incidents summarized in this report and take adequate further actions.

IV.

Instances of Alleged Political Harassment/Intimidation against Political Activists


Lanckhuti

On August 31, an independent candidate for majoritarian district #60, Akaki Chkhaidze contacted ISFED
observer to report that his supporters a spokesman of Sports School Ltd., Amiran Morchiladze and a
trustee of Atsani territorial body, Ucha Chkhaidze were harassed by the Georgian Dream, and on August
29-30, both were fired from work.
ISFED observer interviewed former spokesman of Sports School Ltd., Amiran Morchiladze. He denied
the allegation and stated that he was never harassed. According to Mr. Morchiladze he resigned for
personal reasons. Ucha Chkhaidze also denied the report and stated that the information was inaccurate.

Kobuleti

On August 31, activists of the UNM Youth Organization in Kobuleti, Tengiz Gogmachadze, Giorgi
Andghuladze, Zaza Khajishvili, Guram Dzirkvadze and Ilia Bezhanidze organized a clean streets
campaign in Kobuleti. They placed stickers on bus stops, sea passages and garbage bins that said: Clean
Up Kobuleti, Pataradze, Look After This is Kobuleti. UNM activists were summoned to Kobuleti
Police Station and interrogated in connection to the incident. The activists were informed that they had
violated paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 150 of the Administrative Code of Georgia by defacing the citys
appearance.
Member of Kobuleti Sakrebulo, Bondo Tedoradze (UNM) states that activists posted the stickers on
buildings with dated appearance and already covered with olds stickers. He believes that interrogation of
the UNM activists was politically motivated.
Batumi City Court reviewed the case on September 5 and ordered two UNM activists Tengiz
Gogmachadze and Giorgi Andghuladze to a fine of GEL 50 each for defacing the citys appearance.

Chkhorotsku

On August 30, at 16:30, resident of village Taiashi (Chkhorotsku Municipality) Aza Sajaia, who is a
supporter of the United National Movement and their coordinator, was visited by Zugdidi-Kutaisi
Criminal Police in her home, for searching the place on suspicions of illegal storage of weapons.
According to Ms. Sajaia, she demanded a warrant. Police officers responded that they did not have a
warrant but they were going to search her place in presence of two neighbors. Aza Sajaia tried to contact
her relatives by phone but the police took her phone away and prevented her from making a phone call.
When she tried to gather her neighbors, she was physically attacked. Ms. Sajaia became sick and her
neighbors called an ambulance. The police searched Aza Sajaias home but did not find any weapons.
In talking with ISFED observer, residents of Taiashi village confirmed that Aza Sajias home had been
searched by the police. Ms. Sajaia herself alleges that the police targeted her for her involvement in the
pre-election campaign and believes that she was harassed on political grounds.

Poti

On August 23, at dawn, members of the UNM Youth Organization, who were driving from Tbilisi to Poti,
were detained on Senaki Highway for allegedly being under the influence of drugs. Because drug test did
not detect the presence of drugs, they were released immediately.

On the same day, at 12:00, other members of the UNM Youth Organization were detained in the street
first, Mikheil Lukhava and then Aleksandre Adamia together with his underage cousin. Adamias cousin
was released from police car after the police learned that he was underage. Others were taken to the police
station first and later to the criminal police; in about an hour they were transferred to a drug-testing center
in Senaki but they refused to provide a test sample. Both detainees were released at 00:30.
The UNM majoritarian candidate in Poti, Beka Basilaia, represented interests of the detainees. He alleges
that the detention was illegal and believes that it was an attempt of the authorities to interfere with the
pre-election campaign.

Kaspi

On August 22, active supporters of the political union Free Democrats, Paata Bezhitashvili and his cousin
Bondo Bezhitashvili were stopped by the police outside the village of Chocheti, Kaspi district, as they
were driving in a car. Police officers requested drivers license but the driver, Paata Bezhitashvili did not
have the license with him. According to the Bezhitashvilis, the police officer Gocha Iordanashvili offered
to let Paata Bezhitashvili go without a fine if his cousin confessed to robbing a booth in Sasireti village.
As they refused the offer, police placed Bondo Bezhitashvili in their vehicle and assaulted verbally; they
wrote a ticket to Paata Bezhitashvili. There is no active investigation into alleged robbery of a booth in
Sasireti village and no one has filed a complaint.3
Majoritarian candidate of Free Democrats in Kaspi Region and a member of Sakrebulo, Vakhtang
Bezhitashvili believes that the incident was an act of political harassment. According to him, the police
should immediately investigate the act of harassment and an attempt to extort a false confession.
Bezhitashvili reported the incident to the General Inspection of the Ministry of Internal Affairs by phone.
Subsequent investigation has been launched.

Lanckhuti

Gulnara Chichua, a member of the campaign office of an independent candidate for majoritarian district
of Lanchkhuti no.60, Akaki Chkhaidze, contacted ISFED representative to report a verbal assault.
According to her, former president of FC Guria, Edisher Zhordania attacked her verbally outside
Ckhaidzes campaign office because of her support to the candidate. To verify the report ISFED observer
tried to contact Zhordania but he could not be reached for comment.

Kaspi

On August 20, in the village of Khidiskuri (Kaspi Municipality), the UNM members, Nargiza Eminova
and Ketevan Kvelashvili were assaulted verbally by a supporter of the Georgian Dream, Zaza Bairamov,
during their door-to-door visits. According to Eminova and Kvelashvili, Bairamov was following them all
day in a yellow Zhiguli car, disrupting their work. They also alleged that Bairamov was using offensive
language; he was cursing at them, demanding that that they leave the village.

Senaki

On August 13, a personal driver of Senaki Municipality Sakrebulo Chair, Davit Chitava visited an
independent majoritarian candidate Apolon Garuchava in his home and demanded that he withdraw his
candidacy. Their dialogue grew into a loud exchange and an argument. The incident was witnessed by
Apolon Garuchavas neighbors. According to Mr. Garuchava, Davit Chitava demanded that he withdraw
3

See the report at: http://www.qartli.ge/ge/akhali-ambebi/article/3306thelianshipoliciathavisufaldemokratebismkhardamtcersbidzashvilithashantazhebs


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his candidacy, start working in favor of the Georgian Dreams majoritarian candidate and cooperate in
activity against the United National Movement. The victim alleges that he was also assaulted.
ISFED observer attempted to contact Davit Chitava multiple times but he refuses to comment.
Apolon Garuchava withdrew his candidacy but he plans to compete in the elections from the political
union National Forum.

Batumi

An independent candidate, Armaz Akhvlediani reported that on (or around) August 10, a coordinator of
his meetings with voters, Ilia Koniadze was summoned by the Chair of Adjara Government, Zurab
Pataradze, through the chief of Adjara Governments Office, Gocha Jashi. He also reported that according
to Koniadze, officer of the State Security Service (the so-called ODR) Levan Natsarashvili was present at
the meeting with Zurab Pataradze. The meeting took place in the government building. During the
meeting Koniadze was offered to cooperate with the Georgian Dream. In exchange, he would be
appointed as the head of the Georgian Dream's local campaign office in Khulo, and following the
elections he would be reinstated to his former position the Head of the Protocol Office of the
Government of Adjara.
On September 4, ISFED LTO interviewed Ilia Koniadze, who used to serve as the head of the
Government of Adjara Protocol Office before the Georgian Dream came into power, and later held a
number of other important positions. He categorically denied the report and stated that he used to work
with Armaz Akhvlediani during the 2013 presidential elections, coordinating the campaign office of the
Georgian Dream in Adjara Highland. He denied any further political cooperation with Akhvlediani and
stated that their worldviews differ. He also denied meeting the Chair of Adjara Government and receiving
any offers; however, according to Koniadze, he has applied for a number of vacant positions and if he
receives any offers he is willing to cooperate with the ruling party because he believes that the Georgian
Dream is the only powerful player.
Chief of Adjara Governments Office, Gocha Jashi dismissed the allegations as absolutely ridiculous
and categorically denied organizing a meeting between Koniadze and Pataradze. According to him, there
was no meeting at all.
Manager of Armaz Akhvledianis campaign office, Irakli Jijavadze confirmed with ISFED LTO that Ilia
Koniadze was involved with Armaz Akhvledianis campaign office for the 2016 parliamentary elections.
According to Jijavadze, Koniadze was coordinating Akhvledianis meetings with voters, and provided a
record of correspondence between members of Akhvledianis campaign office to prove it. The written
communication took place in a closed group of Akhvledianis official Facebook page and it did in fact
involve Ilia Koniadze.
Interestingly, Ilia Koniadze provided a different account of events to media. In an interview with TV 25
he confirmed that he used to work for Akhvledianis campaign office and stated that he left for personal
reasons.4

Sighnaghi

On August 7, in the village of Magharo, representatives of the political union, Paata Burchuladze State
for People took away ID cards of Nunu Mamisimedashvilis family members and her relatives, saying
that it was for population census. They failed to explain that they were acting on behalf of a political
4

See the report recorded before ISFED contacted Koniadze:


http://www.tv25.ge/?page=news&news_id=22864#.V8xSzvl97IV
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party, for election purposes. The fraudulently obtained ID cards were returned to their owners the
following day.

Tskaltubo

The UNM office in Tskaltubo reported that in early August, a representative of the Georgian Dream paid
a visit to the management of Tskaltubo Marketplace to prohibit vendors from watching Rustavi 2.
Apparently, vendors were watching Rustavi 2 on a screen available on the first floor of Tskaltubo
Marketplace.
According to a representative of the UNM office in Tskaltubo, Levan Gogelia, he had learned about it
from vendors complaining that they were no longer allowed to watch Rustavi 2. However, they werent
sure who provided the instructions to ban them from watching the channel.
ISFED LTO contacted director of the marketplace, Maka Chelidze, who denied the report. Similarly, the
report was also denied by vendors Marina Devdariani, Bukhuti Uplisashvili and others, who were
interviewed by the observer.
The screen on the first floor of Tskaltubo Marketplace is currently showing Imedi TV. Vendors explained
that they couldnt switch the channels because they lost the remote control.
In connection to this report, ISFED also interviewed representatives of the Georgian Dream, Members of
Tskaltubo Municipality Sakrebulo Romeo Nizharadze and Kakha Pantskhava, who denied the allegations.

V.

Physical Violence

Borjomi

On August 10, during a demonstration in support of the Labor Party outside the Bottling Factory No.1 of
Borjomi, an incident occurred between the Chair of the Georgian Dream local office in Borjomi, Besik
Popkhadze and a member of the Labor Party, Giorgi Giuashvili. Mr. Giuashvili alleges that he was
verbally and physically assaulted.
In an interview with ISFED observer, Giorgi Giuashvili stated that together with the Labor Party
supporter Giorgi Stepanov he was carrying on campaign activities in streets of Borjomi and meeting with
local population to talk about the unfulfilled promises of the ruling party. He alleges that all that time he
was followed and watched by the head of the local office of the State Security Agency in Borjomi.
According to Mr. Giuashvili, three vehicles blocked his way outside the factory and he was assaulted by
men that got out of those vehicles. Besides Besik Popkhadze, the men inside the vehicles included Deputy
Sakrebulo Chair Giorgi Peradze, Member of Sakrebulo Levan Bliadze and 8-10 employees of municipal
non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities.
In an interview with ISFED, Besik Popkhadze stated that he met Giuashvili and others outside Davit
Agmashenebeli Church in Borjomi. According to him, they were not carrying on any campaign activities
but were using obscene words in reference to the Georgian Dream and its majoritarian MP in Borjomi.
He also said that he stopped the vehicle, got out and told Giuashvili to act in abidance by law. In
response, Giuashvili cursed at the law and the Constitution. Besik Popkhadze cursed back. According
to him, the argument lasted 30 seconds and there was no physical confrontation between them. Popkhadze
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also states that there was only a driver in the vehicle, who did not get out because he asked him to stay
inside. Based on Giuashvilis complaint, Besik Popkhadze was summoned to the police and interrogated.
Later, on August 30, Giuashvili reported that as he was driving in Borjomi together with his family, he
saw the vehicle owned by the Popkhadzes and its driver, Vazha Tsitskishvili, who had verbally insulted
him earlier on August 10. Tsitskishvili insulted him again. Giuashvili urged him to behave in an orderly
manner. The argument grew into a physical confrontation. After this, Tsitskishvili tried to run into
Giuashvilis car but the latter was able to avoid the crash. According to Giuashvili, the incident was
witnessed by his wife, an employee of a nearby car service and several passers-by.
Giuashvili filed a subsequent complaint with the police.
ISFED contacted Besik Popkhadze again but he said that he knew nothing about the incident.

Martvili

On August 21, during the process of selection of PEC members at DEC no.65 of Martvili, a verbal and a
physical confrontation occurred between members of the DEC.
As the DEC was working to select members for precinct-level commissions, a permanent member of the
Commission, Olga Churkanova urged a DEC member appointed by the political union Georgian Dream,
Elga Tsanava, to give her the list of candidates where she had marked the ones that she was going to vote
for during the meeting. Elga Tsanava refused to provide the list, stating that it was her personal working
document. She told Churkanova that as a DEC member she could print out the list herself. Churkanova
took away the list from Tsanava by force and left the building.
In an interview with ISFED LTO, Secretary of Martvili DEC Nino Danelia stated that Olga Churkinova
was under the influence of alcohol. She had asked the DEC Secretary to appoint certain candidates as
members of PEC, 2 in each, but the PEC Secretary ignored her request. Olga Churkanova left the DEC
premises but came back later, even more intoxicated. She physically attacked Elga Tsanava. According to
Danelia, she tried to stop them but sustained a physical injury instead.
According to the DEC Chair, Grigol Bartaia, Olga Churkanova suspected that the commission relied on
lists provided by the authorities. She took away the list of candidates from Elga Tsanava (a member of the
DEC appointed by the Georgian Dream) where she had marked the candidates that she was going to vote
for. 5
In an interview with ISFED observer, Olga Churkanova denied being intoxicated and said that she took
away those lists because Tsanava had marked candidates that were on the pre-made list of candidates
provided by the Georgian Dream, which the DEC members should have voted for. She said that she
suffered physical injuries and plans to have the injuries examined by a professional.
Olga Churkanova is a permanent non-partisan member of the DEC. Her husband is the UNM majoritarian
candidate in the majoritarian district of Abasha-Martvili.
Subsequent investigation has been instituted under Article 125 (battery) of the Criminal Code of Georgia,
and the Office of Internal Audit at the CEC has launched an examination. The CEC said that it would
provide findings of the examination in the near future.

See the information at: http://www.livepress.ge/ka/akhali-ambebi/article/15849martvilissaolqosaarchevnokomisiistsevrikolegasdaupirispirda.html


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VI.

Interfering with Electoral Campaign and Vandalizing Party Offices


Kharagauli

On August 28, a meeting with population of Ghoreshi village was held in the hall of public meetings at
the Public Service Hall. According to the head of the Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia campaign
office in Kharagauli, Manana Barbakadze, the meeting was attended by Sakrebulo Chair Inga Maghradze,
who is also a member of the Republican Party. She wanted to participate in debates and make a speech
but other attendees objected. Representative of Gamgebeli Iuri Mchedlidze, who is also a supporter of the
Republican Party, intervened in the argument. According to Manana Barbakadze, the argument grew into
a verbal assault. Iuri Mchedlidze insulted her and Acting Gamgebeli Paata Gogoladze.
Inga Maghradze told ISFED observer that she was denied to make a speech and participate in a debate
with the Georgian Dreams candidate, which led to a verbal confrontation.
The Georgian Dreams representative alleges that the incident was an attempt to interfere with the
campaign.

Lanckhuti

On August 20-21, during a meeting with local population in Chkonagora village (Nigoeti Community),
Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate in majoritarian district no.60, Temur Chkuaseli was verbally
insulted by a village local, who then started throwing fruit at him. The candidate became sick and left the
place together with the accompanying individuals.
The incident was confirmed by the Georgian Dream representative, also a local, who was interviewed by
ISFED observer.

Dedoplistskaro

On August 11, at 01:30, someone smashed windows of the UNM local office in Dedoplistskaro
Municipality and vandalized with paint a banner of the UNM majoritarian candidate in
Sighnaghi/Dedoplistskaro, Levan Bezhashvili. Investigation has not yet identified the perpetrator.
Chair of the UNM local office in Dedoplistskaro, Levan Baghashvili has accused Irakli Gharibashvilis
uncle Zura Gonashvili. According to Mr. Baghashvili, the office is located downtown, near a gas station
at Rustaveli Street, and there is a video surveillance in the area. Therefore, according to him, it shouldnt
be difficult to identify the perpetrator. Baghashvili filed a police report. Subsequent investigation has been
launched by Dedoplistskaro Police.
Owner of the UNM office space, Natalia Kadagadze lives on the second floor of the building. She also
works at the UNM office. She allegedly saw Zura Gonashvili standing outside the office at night and
cursing, followed by the sound of smashing windows.
During an interview with ISFED observer, Zura Gonashvili denied the allegations and stated that there are
witnesses who will vouch for his whereabouts on August 10. He says that he had a beer with neighbors at
23:00, went home at 23:30 to watch TV and stayed there through the night. Gonashvili alleges that the
UNM itself vandalized the office and they are now accusing him intentionally.

Zugdidi

On August 11, someone broke into the UNM office in Zugdidi at night. Members of the UNM believe
that the motivation of perpetrators could be to steal some information from the office. A member of the
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UNM, Davit Abuladze stated that they possibly took information from computers. Subsequent
investigation has been launched under Article 187 of the Criminal Code, damaging or destroying
someones property (object).

Batumi

Independent majoritarian candidate in Batumi majoritarian district no.69 reported campaign interference.
According to him, during his meeting with voters on August 7, outside the office of Geocell at Gorgiladze
Street, an officer of the State Security Service named Sirabidze was recording his conversations on a
video recorder. He also alleges that Sirabidze is a close friend of Archil Khabadze, former chair of Ajara
Government.

Gori

On August 10, windows of the UNM local office in Gori were smashed. Representatives of the UNM
office stated that the windows had cracks and they were damaged during replacement. On August 11,
Director of Kula Company Ivane Goglidze declared that he had smashed the windows of the UNM office.
Ivane Goglidze is a brother of Aleksandre Goglidze, majoritarian candidate of the UNM in Gori.
According to reports, the government had provided Ivane Goglidze with a space to build a factory for a
symbolic price of GEL 1. After the UNM nominated his brother, Aleksandre Goglidze as a majoritarian
candidate, the revenue service started auditing Ivane Gogiladzes company.
Following Ivane Gogiladzes statement, on August 12, the UNM held a special briefing and urged the
Interagency Commission for Free and Fair Elections to examine the allegations in a comprehensive
manner.

Telavi

Independent majoritarian candidate in Kvareli and Telavi, Vasil Kevlishvili reported that he was fined
with GEL 1000, based on the act issued by the National Civil Service Bureau, for failing to submit his
financial disclosure form within the timeframe prescribed by para.5 of Article 14 and Article 20 of the
Law of Georgia on Conflict of Interests and Corruption in Public Service. According to Kevlishvili, after
his registration as a majoritarian candidate, no one warned him about the obligation to submit a financial
disclosure form. Because he is not a civil servant, he was not aware of the obligation. He believes it was
an act of interference in his pre-election campaign.
According to the candidate, planning and conducting pre-election campaign with limited financial
resources is challenging, and ordering him to pay a fine of GEL 1,000 amounts to interference with his
pre-election campaign.
The candidate states that DECs started notifying majoritarian candidates about the obligation to fill out
the financial disclosure forms on August 17, while candidates who registered before that date were not
notified of any such obligation.
It is important to determine whether all registered candidates have been notified about the obligation to
submit financial disclosure forms. The obligation is regulated by the Law of Georgia on Conflict of
Interests and Corruption in Public Service, not the Election Code. If it is established that the electoral
administration used different approaches to notify different candidates, the decision of the Civil Service
Bureau ordering the fine should be reconsidered to eliminate any suspicions of campaign interference.

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VII.

Damaging of Campaign Materials

Tetritskaro

On August 26, late at night, a banner of the UNM majoritarian candidate in the majoritarian district no.32
was damaged. The banner was installed outside the UNM campaign office in Daba Manglisi. According
to the head of the UNM campaign office in Tetritskaro, subsequent investigation has been launched and
the incident has been reported to the interagency commission.

Gurjaani

In the morning of August 25, representatives of Paata Burchuladze State for People campaign office in
Gurjaani found 41 and Bidzo inscribed on a wall of their campaign office and their campaign banner
with blue paint.

Rustavi

On August 25, facade of Paata Burchuladze State for People campaign office in Rustavi was
vandalized. The head of the partys local office in Rustavi, Khatuna Darchiashvili reported that a flag was
stolen and an inscription Paata + Bidzina = 41 was made on the wall. Darchiashvili filed a police report.

Telavi

On August 23, campaign banner of the UNM majoritarian candidate in the majoritarian district no.27 in
Shilda village (Kvareli Region) was damaged. According to the majoritarian candidate, Giorgi Botkoveli,
someone fired shots at the banner. Owner of the house where the banner was installed stated that he heard
a sound of shots at night and saw an unidentified individual trying to tear down the banner; as he shouted
at the perpetrator, he ran away. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, an examination has been
launched.

Batumi

On August 22, a banner installed outside the UNM campaign office in Batumi was damaged. According
to the UNM majoritarian candidate, Giorgi Kirtadze, he left the office at 12:00 at night and found the
damaged banner in the morning. Later, the head of the Information Center for Combating Corruption,
Merab Ghoghoberidze claimed the responsibility for damaging the banner, stating that he tore it down. He
does not think this is a crime and says that he will destroy the UNM campaign materials whenever he gets
a chance.6 Subsequent investigation has been launched in police division no.2 of Batumi, for damaging
someones property (object) on purpose.

http://tv25.ge/?page=news&news_id=22715#.V8bZGZh9601
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VIII.

Possible Vote Buying

Tbilisi

ISFED has learned that free food is distributed from a booth outside the office of the electoral subject,
Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi, Irma Inashvili, Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, United Opposition, located at 2
Dzmebi Kakabadzeebi Str.
To verify the report of possible vote buying, ISFED long-term observer arrived at the scene on August 21,
at 12:00, and interviewed bystanders who stated that anyone could receive free food distributed by the
Alliance of Patriots of Georgia two times a day. ISFED also found out that the free food used to be
distributed directly from the office of the Alliance of Patriots before launch of the pre-election campaign.
ISFED observer confirmed that, together with the free food, people are also provided with printed
campaign materials of the party. 7
ISFED observer tried to interview people that were handing out the food but they refused to be
photographed or to answer any questions, and forced the observer out of the territory with their aggressive
tone.8
ISFED reported the incident to the State Audit Office and the Office of the Prosecutor of Georgia and
demanded a probe.

IX.

Misuse of Administrative Resources


Ozurgeti

On August 20, during opening of a hazelnut-processing factory in the village of Likhauri, the Georgian
Dream majoritarian candidate in Ozurgeti, Archil Talakvadze carried election campaigning. The foodprocessing factory received a long-term low-interest loan for development and promotion of business
from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Video material published on the Facebook page of Guria Governor shows that in addition to Deputy
Minister of Agriculture Davit Galegashvili, the following individuals were also present at the opening of
the factory funded from the State budget: Governor of Guria Gia Salukvadze, Gamgebeli of Ozurgeti
Merab Chanukvadze, Sakrebulo Chairman Davit Darchia, the Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate for
Ozurgeti Archil Talakvadze and head of his campaign office, and Ozurgeti Mayor Beglar Sioridze.
The same day, a photo and a video was posted on the official Facebook page of the Georgian Dream
majoritarian candidate for Ozurgeti, clearly illustrating that Archil Talakvadze was carrying on election
campaigning during the event. Photo and video material published on official pages of both candidate and
the Governor, suggest that the material has been shot with the same technical equipment a video camera
owned by the administration of Guria Governor, and by the cameraman of the administration. In addition,
the video also shows Nino Lomjaria, head of the Governors Press Office. Judging from the materials of
the event, none of the media representatives were in attendance.

7
8

See the video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30mTUL-GnUw


See ISFED statement at: http://www.isfed.ge/main/1124/geo/
12

Akhaltsikhe

On August 14, Office of Culture at Akhaltsikhe City Hall organized an event to commemorate the 24th
anniversary of the War in Abkhazia. Representatives of the local self-government gathered at the
memorial of the victims of war in downtown Akhaltsikhe and adorned the memorial with flowers.
The event was attended by the Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate in Akhaltsikhe-Adigeni District,
Giorgi Kopadze. He was introduced by the Head of the Office of Culture at Akhaltsikhe City Hall,
Marina Chinchvelidze after her speech about importance of the memorial day. Kopadze spoke about the
War in Abkhazia, his family as well as his past. Following his speech, the City Hall gave bread-making
machines to ten families of veterans of the War in Abkhazia.

Khelvachauri

On August 12, at 15:30 (during working hours), an official of Ajaria Roads Department, lead specialist of
the Technical Division, Mamuka Mskhaladze, drove to the Georgian Dream campaign office in
Khelvachauri in a vehicle (BZA-777) owned by the roads Department. The violation was reported by the
UNM on their Facebook page; they also published photos to prove the report.
In an interview with ISFED LTO, head of the Georgian Dream campaign office in Khelvachauri, Ioseb
Bolkvadze, denied the report, stating that Mskhaladze was near the campaign office and he did not go
inside the building. Mamuka Mskhaladze himself denied the fact and then was aggressive to ISFED
observer for her interest in his visits.

Ozurgeti

The Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate in Ozurgeti, Archil Talakvadze, uses human resources and
technical equipment of Ozurgeti City Hall Press Service for coverage of his pre-election campaign. In an
interview with ISFED observer, Head of the Press Service Khatuna Sharadze stated that they prepare
materials about Archil Talakvadzes campaign and send them out to media, based on the agreement.
According to Khatuna Sharadze, whenever she covers Archil Talakvadzes meetings, she takes a leave of
absence from work. ISFED requested access to public information about leaves granted to the City Hall
employees. According to the information provided, Khatuna Sharadze did not take a leave of absence
during coverage of Archil Talakvadzes campaign for instance, on August 8, when according to
materials prepared by the Press Service of the City Hall, Archil Talakvadze together with Ozurgeti Mayor
Beglar Sioridze met with parents of soldiers who died heroically. 9 In light of the above, it is safe to
conclude that human and technical resources for Talakvadzes pre-election campaign are funded from the
City Hall budget.

See the information at: http://www.ipress.ge/new/40647-archil-talakvadze-erovnuli-gmiris-zaza-dameniasmshoblebs-shekhvda


http://guriismoambe.com/index.php?m=68&news_id=19458#.V6jHc7Ica0c.facebook
http://www.interpressnews.ge/ge/sazogadoeba/391848-archil-thalakvadze-gmirulad-daghupul-jariskacthamshoblebs-shekhvda.html?ar=A

13

X.

Participation of Unauthorized Individuals in Pre-Election Campaigning


Tbilisi

On August 30, Vice-President of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the
European Parliament, Knut Flekenstein, visited Georgia. While in Georgia, he visited the Georgian
Dream Democratic Georgia campaign office in Gldani. He spoke about goals of his visit to Georgia,
and wished the Georgian Dream and Levan Koberidze a success in the upcoming parliamentary
elections.10
Together with the Georgian Dream Secretary General Kakhi Kaladze, Flekenstein held a press conference
against the backdrop of the party symbols, engaged in campaigning in favor of the Georgian Dream and
openly declared his support for the party.11
Anyone can conduct and participate in pre-election campaigning, except individuals foreseen by para.4,
Article 45 of the Election Code, including aliens who are legally prohibited from disseminating opinions
in support of or against an electoral subject. Knut Flekenstein is an alien and therefore, he is subject to the
restriction established by Article 45 of the Election Code for participation in pre-election campaigning.

Gurjaani

On August 29, at 17:00, a campaign meeting of the Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate Davit
Songhulashvili in Melaani village was attended by unauthorized individuals, including members of the
PEC no.35, Anzor Datuashvili, Meri Meskhishvili, Ketevan Datuashvili, and a representative of
Gamgebeli in Melaani, Gocha Meskhishvili.
The same day, on 18:00, the Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate Davit Songhulashvili held a meeting
with voters in Chalaubani village, attended by members of the PEC no.34, Zaal Saginashvili and Diana
Natidze.
The above actions of PEC members contained signs of an offence; in particular, anyone can participate in
pre-election campaigning except for individuals foreseen by para.4, Article 45 of the Election Code,
including members of electoral commissions that are legally prohibited from disseminating views in favor
of or against election subject candidates. By participating in campaign of the Georgian Dream candidate,
members of PECs no.34 and 35 violated the prohibition established by Article 45 of the Election Code.
ISFED filed subsequent complaints in Gurjaani DEC.
Gurjaani DEC explained that as of August 29, 2016, the above individuals were not PEC members
because by virtue of para.14, Article 25 of the Election Code, the term of office of a PEC member
commences at the first session of the PEC and ends upon drawing up of the summary protocol of polling
results in the respective DEC. Because the first session of corresponding PECs has not been held, their
authority has not been recognized and they are not considered to be PEC members. Therefore, they are
not subject to the prohibition established by Article 45 of the Election Code about campaigning.

Kaspi

Kaspi DEC members reported the following to the ISFED LTO: member of the DEC, Nani Beglarashvili
(appointed by the Georgian Dream) and Deputy Chair of the DEC Nodar Guraspashvili participated in
selection and training of the Georgia Dreams PEC members and representatives. They were meeting with
the Chair of the Georgian Dream local office, Temur Khizanishvili for instructions and consultations.
10
11

See: https://www.facebook.com/GeorgianDreamOfficial/videos/1142703219122955/
https://www.facebook.com/GeorgianDreamOfficial/posts/1142665059126771
14

Tkibuli

On August 25, the Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate in Terjola and Tkibuli, Elguja Gotsiridze, held
a meeting with population of Satsiri and Khersili administrative unit. The meeting was attended by a
representative of Tkibuli Eparchy, Monk Davit (Rizhamadze), who addressed the audience and said: this
man [Elguja Gotsiridze] is a doctor, peoples healer, and most importantly, he is from Tkibuli and I will
be very happy [if he is elected]. Besides, Ive heard many good things about this man he has helped
churches, he built the residence of His Holiness in Sno. I will praise the Lord if his man is elected in our
eparchy. Times are very challenging today for Georgian people. I believe that this man will do a lot of
good things for Tkibuli and Terjola. 12
Under para.4, Article 45 of the Election Code, representatives of religious and charity organizations are
prohibited from participating in pre-election campaign. Any such action is an offence punishable by fine
of GEL 2000.
Campaigning through Facebook by Civil Servants
Civil servants continue to engage in activities in support of the ruling party during working hours.
Employees of Ozurgeti City Hall are campaigning in favor of the Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia
on their personal Facebook pages during working hours by publishing materials in support of the
Georgian Dream majoritarian candidate Archil Talakvadze.
These are the following municipal employees: Head of the Culture Division at the Department of
Education, Culture and Gender Equality, Marina Vasadze; an employee of Ozurgeti City Hall
Procurement Service, Saro Sarishvili; Head of Ozurgeti City Hall Social Service, Tamar Dumbadze; the
Head of Ozurgeti City Hall Public Relations Office, Khatuna Sharadze; the Head of the Administrative
Office of Ozurgeti Municipality Gamgeoba, Khatuna Surguladze; the Head of the Press Office of the
State Representative in Guria, Nino Lomjaria.
Civil servants that engage in campaigning through Facebook also include the Head of the Organizational
and HR Management Division at Kutaisi Sakrebulo, Levan Gogelishvili.

XI.
Changes in Local Self-Government Budgets
Ozurgeti
On August 4, Ozurgeti Municipality Sakrebulo amended their budget by adding the program for making
repairs to asphalt potholes to the road infrastructure. The budget now allocates GEL 39,688 for repairing
the potholes and GEL 42,295 for repairing the gravel road (gravelling, grading, pressing). It has not been
specified which areas of the city of Ozurgeti will be targeted by the above works.

Khobi

On August 5, Khobi Municipality Sakrebulo amended their budget by increasing budget revenue by GEL
517,000. Sakrebulo decided to use the additional funds for implementing new project, including
rehabilitation of the Bond Bridge in Kariati Administrative Unit (GEL 250,000), as well as repairing the
road leading to the cemetery in Okhvamekari village in Kheta Administrative Unit. Total of GEL 180,000
will be allocated for paving the road with concrete surface.
12

See the report prepared by Tkibuli Information Center: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzlYZS4rLC0 (0:37


- 0:40 and 4:00 - 4:30 marks)

15

XII.

Evaluation of Activities of the Electoral Administration

Electoral registration of the political union Centrists


Under the electoral legislation, to participate in the parliamentary elections of Georgia, a party should
submit corresponding application, signed by its legal representative, to the CEC Chair. The Election Code
provides the list of documents that should be submitted to the CEC for electoral registration of a party.
The application should include a certificate of the party and its statute, or their copies attested by a notary.
To evaluate legitimacy of registration of the political union Centrists, ISFED requested access to
documents submitted by the political union for electoral registration.
According to the information provided by the CEC, the Centrists had submitted the following documents:
1. Application of the political union Centrists for participation in the elections;
2. Copy of the party statute, attested by a notary;
3. Copy of an extract from the Registry of Political Unions of Citizens about registration of the
Centrists, attested by a notary;
4. A copy of minutes of the party conference on May 29, 2016, attested by the notary;
5. Copies of ID cards of the Centrist leadership and authorized representatives, in accordance with
the application filed by the political union.
The application filed by the Centrists with the Central Election Commission states: the party has not
been issued a registration certificate following its registration. No substitute document could be found
at the National Agency of Public Registry. Instead, the National Agency of Public Registry issued an
extract from the Registry of Political Unions of Citizens (Parties) about the Centrists. The Registry of
Political Unions of Citizens should list Conference under the Leader of the Centrists; instead, it
lists an authorized representative only, the Chair, leading to a confusion during preparation of the
extract.
Clearly, the application of the Centrists itself suggested that information registered in the Registry of
Political Unions of Citizens about the party may have been inaccurate, which is why the CEC should have
been more diligent in verifying the documents and obtaining information about the party.
The extract provided by the National Agency of Public Registry did not provide a name of an authorized
representative of the political union. Instead, it listed the Chair as an authorized representative. The
National Agency of Public Registry is responsible for verifying legitimacy of election of the party chair
and including his/her name in the registration information. It is also authorized to evaluate legitimacy of
the party conference and decide whether information submitted by a political subject is sufficient for
registration and recording it in the Registry of Political Unions of Citizens.
By virtue of the organic law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens, a party should be registered in the
Public Registry and the information about the party is presumed irrefutable unless proven otherwise.
According to the law, Registry of Political Unions of Citizens (Parties) is a systemic collection of data
about political unions of citizens (parties). The following documents should be submitted to the National
Registry of Public Agency within a week of holding the party foundation conference:
an application for registration signed by the authorized representative(s);
a notary-verified protocol of the party foundation conference;
a list of at least 1000 members of a party indicated with their name, surname, date of birth,
personal ID number, workplace, home address, telephone number and signatures;
the statute of the party;
the certificate of legal address and telephone number of the party;

16

a notary-certified copy (copies) of a signature (signatures) of an authorized representative


(representatives) of the party;
samples of a seal, emblem and other symbols of the party, if applicable.

Clearly, name of authorized representative/leader is among the information required for registration. The
party is obligated to notify the National Agency of Public Registry of any changes in the statute of the
party or information subject to registration at the Register of Political Unions of Citizens (parties) e.g.,
election of a new chair within 10 days, and submit corresponding documents to the National Agency.
The Agency then verifies accuracy of the documents submitted and decides on their registration. Changes
in the statute of the party or in the Registry of Political Unions of Citizens (parties) are effective only after
they are registered with the Agency.
According to the statement of the Central Election Commission, under the Constitution of Georgia and
the Law of Georgia on Political Unions of Citizens, failure to indicate name of the authorized party
leader/representative does not constitute grounds for terminating or suspending registration of the party.
Therefore, the CEC had no obligation to request any corresponding evidence.
In the present case, the CEC should have decided on registration of the Centrists as an electoral subject
for the parliamentary elections under Article 113 of the Election Code, based on their application, and not
on termination or suspension of registration of the party.
According to the Statement of the National Agency for Public Registry, from 2006 to 2016, the Centrists
did not submit any information to the registration authority about changes in the leadership. Based on the
official information maintained by the registration authority, the political union Centrists has had no
authorized leaders or representatives since 2006.
Documents submitted by a political union (party) for any particular elections is verified by the Central
Election Commission based on the information available at the Public Registry, not minutes of the party
conference submitted by the party. Because according to the information available at the Public Registry,
the party has no leadership or authorized representative, it had no right to apply to the CEC and request
electoral registration, and the CEC should have rejected the applicants request for registration as an
electoral subject.
It was only after the National Agency of Public Registry released a public statement that the CEC learned
the Centrists had no authorized representative or leadership, which is indicative of problems in the
mechanism for cooperation and exchange of information between the state agencies. Addressing these
problems is important for the conduct of elections in a manner prescribed by the election legislation and
without any violations.
In light of the above, to avoid any gaps in the process of electoral registration of parties, it is especially
important that the state agencies work in agreement and a high level of coordination is achieved,
especially during the pre-election period, in order to ensure effective fulfillment of applicable legal
requirements and protection of interests of electoral stakeholders.
The situation created around electoral registration of the political union Centrists suggests that the CEC
may have a pro forma approach towards verification of documents required for registration. In light of the
importance of the issue, the registration authority should take a more responsible approach to verification
of registration documents, and should verify them with serious attention, not as a formality.
On the other hand, the National Agency of the Public Registry should regularly update the CEC on all
administrative proceedings instituted at the Agency for amending registered information about parties,
especially during a pre-election period.
17

Gaps in the CEC Resolution no.58/2016


On August 19, the CEC adopted a resolution no.58/2016, determining that for purposes of the October 8,
2016 elections, individuals who signed applications submitted to the CEC Chair under Article 113 of the
Election Code of Georgia and were indicated as party leaders, based on the Order of the CEC Chair, will
be the authorized leaders/representatives for parties registered in the Registry of Political Unions of
Citizens (Parties) and without authorized leaders/representatives.
The approach provided in Article 1 of the Resolution poses the risk of repeating the violations that
occurred during registration of the political union Centrists, especially considering that under Article 2 of
the Resolution, Article 1 does not apply to cases where an individual, who signed applications submitted
to the CEC Chair under Article 113 of the Election Code of Georgia and were indicated as party leaders,
was/will be refused by the National Agency for Public Registry following registration proceedings to
make changes in the Registry for Political Unions of Citizens (Parties) and indicate him/her as authorized
leader/representative of the party.
It is the function of the information available at the Registry to establish facts; the information is
presumed to be indisputable. Therefore, to avoid any mistakes in electoral registration of political
subjects, the CEC should rely on official information registered at the National Agency of the Public
Registry. On the basis of information available at the Registry, the CEC will be able to determine
legitimacy/illegitimacy of electoral registration and will no longer have to take actions post-factum, like
in the case of the Centrists.
Determining authorized representative of a party and verifying its founding documents does not fall under
the competencies of the CEC; this falls under the exclusive powers of the Public Registry, while for
verification of documents submitted by a party the CEC should rely on the information available at the
Registry.
Interestingly, during a hearing on August 18 about a complaint filed by ISFED against the P/U Centrists,
Tbilisi Appellate Court did not allow the person listed in the party statute as a party leader and a
representative, as well as his agents who had been given a power of attorney, to participate in the hearing,
stating that the person listed as a leader in the party statute was not registered in the Public Registry in
that capacity. Accordingly, the court found that the information available at the Registry was indisputable,
while the party statute was inadequate for determining the leader of the party.
Relying on the information available at the Registry will help the CEC avoid wasting time and resources
by considering applications filed by unauthorized individuals and issuing subsequent invalid acts.

Registration of the P/U Party of National Unity of Georgia


Based on the information provided by the Public Registry to ISFED, as of August 31, one of the 44
political unions registered by the CEC the Party of the National Unity of Georgia has no
registered leader and authorized representative(s) in the Public Registry.
In light of this information, legitimacy of registration of the electoral subject should be reviewed and if
there is a violation, corresponding measures should be taken immediately.

18

The CEC Resolution on Determination of Sequence Number for Electoral Subjects


On October 8, 2016, in addition to regular parliamentary elections of Georgia, by-elections/snap elections
of executive and representative bodies of local self-government will also take place. The Election Code
does not provide any regulations for assigning sequence number to electoral subjects when different
elections are conducted the same day.
Rather, the Election Code provides separate regulations for determining sequence number for
parliamentary elections (Article 119) and local self-government elections (Article 145). 13
On August 24, the CEC adopted a resolution no.60/2016, defining certain procedures and terms in light of
the legal ambiguities due to simultaneous conduct of the parliamentary elections and elections for
legislative and representative bodies of local self-government. According to the resolution, in order to
promote expression of free will by voters, conduct of pre-election campaigning by electoral subjects and
tabulation of polling and election results, a political subject participating in the parliamentary elections as
well as the local by-elections on October 8, 2016, have the right to use the same number in all three
elections, if they are willing to.
One of the important new regulations contained by the CEC resolution is that electoral subjects running in
the parliamentary elections have the right to retain the number that they were assigned for the previous
local self-government elections, while remaining other parties, except for the three parties that garnered
most of the votes in the previous parliamentary elections, will get their sequence numbers by casting of
lots.
The resolution ensures that a party has the same sequence number on different ballots and therefore, it
serves the purpose of streamlining the election process and preventing confusion of electoral subjects and
voters.
However, the problem with the Resolution is that it disadvantages electoral subjects whose sequence
number will be determined by casting of lots; more specifically, electoral subjects that are entitled to the
right established by the Resolution learned their sequence numbers earlier than other electoral subjects
(on August 24), while the Electoral Code stipulates that electoral sequence number should be defined no
earlier than 36th day and no later than 30th day before the Election Day. Consequently, other electoral
subjects learned what their sequence numbers are on September 2.

13

Under para.1, Article 119 of the Code, a political union that received the most votes during the previous
parliamentary elections held under the proportional system has the preferential right to choose the number first. A
representative of the political union files an application with the CEC, whereby the political union retains the
sequence number assigned to it during the previous parliamentary elections or takes number one. The political
unions that were in second and third places according to the results of the previous parliamentary elections have the
right to successively choose a sequence number under the same procedure. They can maintain the number assigned
to them during the previous parliamentary elections or choose numbers two or three accordingly.
Under para.3, if in the previous parliamentary elections a sequence number was assigned to an electoral bloc that
was in first, second or third place according to the results of the elections, a party nominated first in the electoral
bloc list may use the same number.
Under Article 145 of the Election Code, in local self-government elections, a party/election bloc is entitled to
request participation in the elections under the same number as it was assigned in the previous parliamentary
elections; to this end, it should submit an application to the CEC no later than on the 40th day before the polling day.
Numbers of other election subjects are to be determined by casting lots.
19

In light of the foregoing, in its August 24 Resolution the CEC stated that electoral subjects that received
their sequence numbers without casting of lots are authorized to use the numbers only after issuance of a
respective order of the CEC (the order on results of casting of lots for determining sequence numbers for
other electoral subjects). Nevertheless, the electoral subjects Davit Tarkhan Mouravi, Irma Inashvili
the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia, and Paata burchuladze State for People started using their
sequence numbers in election advertising several days after the CEC adopted the Resolution.
The CEC published a subsequent statement on August 30, stating that for purposes of the parliamentary
elections, campaign materials of an electoral subject as well as free and paid advertising aired by local
and national broadcasters should not contain sequence number of electoral subjects. The CEC explained
that according to the Resolution, the sequence numbers can be used after casting of lots for relevant
electoral subjects is carried out and the order of the CEC on sequence numbers is adopted.
However, the CEC has no legal leverage to take any action in response to violation of the rule for using
sequence numbers.
According to the election legislation, the electoral administration should guarantee equality for all
electoral subjects. Therefore, it is unclear why the CEC adopted the Resolution on August 24, at least 2
weeks before determination of sequence numbers for all electoral subjects, and left equality of electoral
subjects at the mercy of the parties good faith, especially considering that elections are a political
competition between electoral subjects who are inclined to use all advantages that may come their way.
Therefore, it would have been reasonable for the CEC to state in its Resolution that violation of the rules
would lead to a legal liability. This would have established a guarantee for implementation of the norm,
and the Resolution would not have resulted in favorable treatment of parties that learned their sequence
numbers before casting of lots.

Irregularities in Precinct Election Commission Composition Process


In compliance with the timeframe specified in the legislation, on August 19-23, the process of selection of
precinct electoral commission members by district electoral commissions (professional appointments)
took place.
ISFED closely followed the process and detected certain irregularities in some electoral districts. More
specifically, ISFED observers learned from various sources about pre-made lists of candidates that DEC
members should have relied on during the selection process. According to opposition representatives, the
lists were dominated by family members and relatives of the Georgian Dream activists.
ISFED observers were able to obtain such lists in districts of Kobuleti, Samtredia and Senaki. They
compared the lists to PEC members selected in these districts and found that a vast majority of candidates
selected in these districts were on the pre-made lists. More specifically, the list of PEC members selected
in Kobuleti Electoral District was nearly identical to the pre-made lists. In Samtredia District 256 out of
300 candidates selected for PEC membership were on the pre-made list, while in Senaki, 255 out of 282
candidates selected were on the pre-made list.
In addition, during selection of PEC members in Gori and Akhaltsikhe, DEC members mostly voted in
favor of the first six candidates on the list. Similar pattern of voting was observed in DECs previous
years, leading us to believe that preferred candidates were placed at the top of the candidates lists.
There was no open voting at the district electoral commission for selection of PEC members in Ozurgeti
or a meeting to consider applications of candidates. All members of the DEC, except for Mzia Tsereteli
20

(the UNM) and Badri Abuseridze (the United Democratic Movement) arrived at the meeting with premarked lists of candidates that they simply signed during the meeting. DEC members were trying to hide
their pre-marked lists using newspapers or sheets of paper.
PEC members selected in Sighnaghi Electoral District include individuals that participated in party
trainings organized by the political union Georgian Dream a few days earlier.
Selection of PEC members by district electoral commissions (professional appointments) is a very
important process, which involves selection of candidates based on their professional skills and
assessment of their applications against the requirements, and by ruling out of any political interests and
influences. Regrettably, the pre-made lists raise legitimate suspicions about impartiality of candidates
selected as professional members of PECs.
ISFED is studying past activities of PEC members in electoral and political areas, and will publish
subsequent report in the near future.

XIII.

Public Meetings and Pre-Election Promises

ISFED long-term observers monitored pre-election campaign of political parties in all electoral districts.
ISFED records meetings that observers attended personally. Compared to the previous reporting period,
number of meetings with voters has nearly quadrupled.
ISFED observers attended a total of 439 public meetings of electoral subjects with voters, held from
August 9 to September 1, 2016.
Below is a statistical distribution of the meetings by political parties:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.

Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia 180;


The United National Movement - 126;
Irakli Alasania Free Democrats - 60;
Shalva Natelashvili Georgian Labor Party - 18;
Davit Tarkhan-Mouravi, Irma Inashvili, Alliance of Patriots of Georgia - 18;
Usupashvili the Republicans - 10;
National Forum 8;
Paata Burchuladze State for People - 7;
Civic Platform New Georgia - 7;
Our Homeland - 1;
Independent candidates - 4.

ISFED long-term observers also recorded promises made by candidates and/or political parties during
these public meetings. Below is a thoroughly accurate list of election promises made during meetings
with voters:

Georgian Dream Democratic Georgia


Completing ongoing infrastructure projects and initiating new ones:
Construction of Bomi-Sachkhere, Kutaisi-Svaneti and Mamisoni Pass roads and rehabilitation of roads,
construction of new bridges in villages. Building a 5km tunnel in Darial Gorge;
21

Supplying natural gas and potable water;


Improving infrastructure in Tsnori, Brotsliani and Sakobo; supplying potable water;
Building an airfield in Ambrolauri Region;

Promoting regional development:


tackling problems of outdoor lighting and local roads in villages;
eliminating the damage caused by a natural disaster in v.Chkvishi in the fastest way possible;
creating a youth center in Lanckhuti;
creating 800 new jobs in Mtskheta Region.

Promoting development of tourism:


developing services in Gomismta, Bakhmaro, Ureki and Likhauri regions;
developing Khoni Tourism Zone;
promoting development of tourism in Gurjaani;
developing Shovi and Utsera resorts.

Tackling social and economic problems:


- improving living conditions for IDPs in Bazaleti;
- increasing funding for social welfare programs;
- economic development/progress; promoting development of agriculture with respect to hazelnut, citrus
and tea cultures;
- promoting development of small and medium enterprises;
- sports development: rehabilitating football fields and building sports complexes;
- ensuring accessibility of universal healthcare program;
- revoking the cultural heritage status for rundown buildings that are in need of immediate repairs.

Education reform:
making comprehensive changes in the field of education and promoting fields that are in high demand;
creating education centers and vocational schools;
improving reputation of teachers ensuring their professional development.
The United National Movement
Development of infrastructure in municipalities:
improving local roads and local transportation;
arranging drainage systems, connecting villages to gas supply network and providing potable water;
providing free Internet in villages;
improving childrens playgrounds, kindergartens and squares;
revoking the cultural heritage status for rundown buildings that are in need of immediate repairs;
rehabilitating and reinforcing these buildings.

Promoting regional development:


resolving the problem of landfills next to settlement areas;
rehabilitating school in the village of Machkhaani, restoring the reservoir;
keeping the parliament in Kutaisi;
developing adequate infrastructure for balneology resort in Tskaltubo;
making Gardabani thermal power plant operable.

Tackling social and economic problems:


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starting an employment program and creating 45,000 new jobs;


developing fair principles for granting the status of a socially vulnerable;
providing decent wages for miners;
increasing pension by GEL 50;
improving the field of healthcare, extending insurance to medications;
decriminalizing economic crime;
providing tax breaks for small and medium businesses;
providing tax exemption from small enterprises and for businesses with a turnover of up to GEL 90,000;
announcing tax amnesty;
abolishing financial police.

Increasing funding for education:


increasing the value of school vouchers by 50% and increasing teacher salaries up to a minimum of GEL
650 by 2017;
increasing number of students that receive state scholarship up to 5,000; improving access to preschool
education.

Promoting development of agriculture:


attracting investments to open factories for processing agricultural products;
promoting development of mountainous villages;
creating a citrus corporation from the State budget;
developing tourism infrastructure.

Reinforcing Georgias EU and NATO aspirations;


Tightening timeframe for consideration of civil disputes;
Liberating the judiciary from political influences and inviting foreign judges in courts of high instance;
Ensuring that the state language is thought to ethnic minorities.

Irakli Alasania Free Democrats


Maintaining Georgias foreign policy path to European and Euro-Atlantic integration;
Supporting education, sports and arts;
Overcoming unemployment;
Overcoming social and economic hardships by increasing pension to GEL 300, minimum wage to GEL
500 and subsistence minimum to GEL 250;
Lowering drug costs;
Loan and mortgage interest tax relief;
Establishing a free industrial zone in Gldani that will create more jobs;
Improving squares, entrances to buildings and addressing other local problems;
Introducing regulations for gambling business;
Solving key problems that affect IDPs lack of arable land and social hardships;
Including the Dadiani Complex on UNESCO list of world heritage sites;
Developing sports infrastructure;
Promoting small and medium businesses and opening of enterprises;
Helping restructure and postpone mortgage and other bank loans;
Ensuring fair judiciary;
Promoting the land reform;
Promoting development of agriculture;
assistance to farmers in selling their crops and finding markets;
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creating cold storage systems;


creating storehouses;
improving crop insurance conditions;
rehabilitating irrigation canals;
ensuring that funds allocated from the budget for rural development is fully spend on villages;

Paata Burchuladze State for People


Providing medication for pensioners; guaranteed social benefits for four years;
50% increase of social benefits;
Development of tourism: exploiting the mineral water and mud potentials in v.Chakhati, and promoting
development of tourism;
Developing infrastructure;
Promoting economic projects;
Development of sports;
Improving healthcare programs and developing the field of healthcare.
Shalva Natelashvili the Labor Party of Georgia
Pension reform:
providing merit-based pensions;
reducing retirement age to 55 years for women and 60 for men;
providing 13th payment (supplemental pay) for pensioners on their birthdays;
providing supplemental pay of GEL 100 every year for pensioners above the age of 80, and a pension of
GEL 2000 for pensioners that reach 100 years of age.

Protecting voter rights and acting in their best interests;


Creating a fruit and vegetable processing factory in Kareli Region;
Providing free higher education; allowing 40,000 students whose status has been suspended to return to
their higher education institutions;
Increasing state funding in the field of healthcare;
Returning bank deposits lost after the dissolution of the soviet Union;
Prohibiting Internet loans and moving casinos away from urban areas.

Davit Tarkhan Mouravi, Irma Inashvili the Alliance of Patriots of Georgia


Solving social and economic problems affecting the population;
Improving roads;
Increasing pension to GEL 250;
Collecting 3,000 signatures of concerned citizens to impeach the Mayor of Tbilisi;
Opening municipal hospitals and clinics;
Providing free medication and food for people living under the poverty line;
Providing free municipal transport for people living under the poverty line;
Improving roads that connect v.Okureshi to the city and fully rehabilitating the water supply system.

Kakha Dzagania, Soso Shatberashvili, Paata Jibladze, Archil Benidze Left-Wing Alliance
Increasing salaries for nursery and school teachers;
Promoting import of electric cars;
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Allocating funds for unemployment compensation from the budget;


Extending universal insurance to drugs;
Promoting local production.

Usupashvili the Republicans


Addressing problems that affect the population;
Attracting foreign investments;
Integration with Europe;
Building football stadiums and rehabilitating sewage canals;
Liberation from the Soviet mentality.
National Forum

Developing the coastline;


Launching hydromechanics plants;
Overcoming unemployment;
Development of agriculture facilitating low-interest rate loans for agricultural production;
Improving infrastructure, taking care of water and cleaning problems.

Solving the water problem;


Improving infrastructure;
Improving social conditions.

Nino Burjanadze Democratic Movement

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XIV.

About the Monitoring Mission

ISFED performs monitoring of the pre-election environment in all electoral districts of Georgia through
its 68 long-term observers.
ISFEDs pre-election monitoring covers the following important areas:

Election administration activities;


Public meetings of electoral subjects and their political activities;
Promises made by electoral subjects to voters;
Cases of harassment/intimidation or alleged politically motivated dismissals;
Possible instances of vote buying;
Misuse of public resources;
Formation of voter lists, etc.

During the monitoring ISFED relies on public information requested from administrative agencies, as
well as information provided by electoral subjects, media, NGOs and individual citizens. ISFED verifies
each report by interviewing witnesses and all sides of the incident.
In addition to monitoring, ISFED reports violations during meetings of the Inter-Agency Commission for
Free and Fair Elections, to ensure that further actions are taken in a timely manner.
ISFED periodically informs the public about pre-election incidents and trends through its statements and
reports.
ISFED maps all reports of pre-election incidents and possible violations on the interactive incident map
available at the Georgian Elections Portal: http://www.electionsportal.ge/eng/.
Anyone can report a possible violation to the Elections Portal by sending a text to a toll-free number
90039 or by going to http://www.electionsportal.ge/eng/new_incident.

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