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ISFED, GYLA Report on Election Day

Two local election observer organizations, International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) and Georgian Young Lawyers Association (GYLA), who monitored Georgia’s MP by-elections in Mtatsminda constituency in Tbilisi on June 9, released separate assessments of Election Day.

According to ISFED, voting and tabulation “were for the most part held without major violations,” however, it said the cases of tracking of voters outside polling stations pointed at alleged attempt to “control their [free expression of] will.”

The organization, which monitored Election Day with 31 short-term observers at each polling station, has filed one complaint at precinct commission and one at district commission.

GYLA, which reported having deployed ten observers at the “most problematic” polling stations in Mtatsminda constituency, said yesterday’s runoff was held without major violations, but the cases of “controlling voter’s [free expression og] will” as well as “tense environment at some of the polling stations” created a negative atmosphere.

“Unfortunately, there were cases of physical confrontation and threats,” GYLA reported. The organization has filed one complaint to the relevant precinct commission.

According to GYLA, although the presence of political party activists and supporters outside the polling stations is not against the law, this negatively affects the ability of voters to make an “independent and free choice.”

Vladimer Kakhadze of ruling  garnered 61.83% (10,738 votes) in Sunday’s MP by-elections, while Shalva Shavgulidze of European Georgia-Free Democrats received 38.17% (6,630 votes), according to the final vote tally.

18,105 voters cast ballot at 31 polling stations in the election runoff, accounting for 41.23% of the total number of voters.

The parliamentary seat in Mtatsminda became vacant after Salome Zurabishvili, a majoritarian MP, was elected as the President of Georgia.

This post is also available in: Georgian Russian

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