The three main election watchdogs, the International Society for Free Elections and Democracy (ISFED), the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) and Transparency International Georgia (TI) have all noted, that significant mobilization of the pro-government activists at the polling stations and the violation of the secrecy of vote were the main concerns of the voting day. Still, overall, they say voting process was within the frames of law.
The watchdogs will now proceed to observe the vote tally and will present their final findings tomorrow, November 29.
ISFED: voting procedures respected in 98-99% of cases
In its statement, ISFED said most of the key election procedures, such as voting with appropriate documents, verification of the ballots, verification of the voters were respected in the polling stations, and secrecy of the ballot were respected in 98 to 99% of the cases, while violence was observed at 1.6% of the polling stations.
The watchdog notes violation of the secrecy and privacy of the vote as one of the key concerns, while pointing out massive presence of the activists and supporters of the ruling “Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia” at the precincts, who were tallying the voters, thus “continuing the flawed tradition of attempting to influence the voters.”
ISFED has submitted 46 complaints to the precinct and 54 complaints to the district commissions. Observed cases included loss of identity documents, unauthorized personnel at the polling stations, violation of the secrecy of vote, attempts to impact the vote, excess of ballots over the electoral roll, problems with mobile ballot boxes.
ISFED fielded observers in 651 precinct and 73 district commissions, and deployed 78 mobile observation teams. Their work was backed up by 15 operators and 10 lawyers at the headquarters.
GYLA: Calm, but with some significant violations
According to GYLA report, voting went calmly, although several significant violations were recorded, while some trends – of falsifying the votes, voter-bribing and threats were worrying. The report also notes, that isolated cases of violation of the secrecy of vote and of influencing the voters were presenting a worrying trend. GYLA observers were reportedly impeded on several occasions.
GYLA observers submitted 60 complaints in total, out of which 31 at the precinct and 29 – at a district level. Cases of repeat voting, errors in election lists, violation of the secrecy of vote, errors in using mobile ballot boxes, violation of the principle of neutral observation, registering party activists as observers, impeding observers, influencing voters, voter-bribing and threats were recorded.
There were GYLA’s 300 observers deployed, covering 170 precincts in 28 election districts, in the capital Tbilisi, and nine provinces – Kakheti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti, Guria, Imereti and Adjara.
Transparency International: Calm, some violations
Transparency International Georgia statement says elections were mostly held in a calm environment, also some 120 violations were noted by its observers, some serious, while others relatively minor.
TI observers have filed ten complaints, listed cases include voter bribing, violation of the secrecy of vote, voter intimidation, one attempt of ballot-stuffing, impeding observation, violation of the principle of neutral observation (registering activists as observers).
For the second round, TI has deployed 350 observers to 300 precincts, and additional 45 mobile groups as well.