NGO Transparency International Georgia (TI Georgia) says the local self-government elections 2021 are being held “in a largely peaceful environment.”
The organization says its observers have reported up to 100 insignificant and relatively serious violations, and 14 complaints have been filled. Noteworthy cases of serious violations are the following:
At Electoral Precinct #13 of Marneuli’s #22 District Electoral Commission, an observer from the observing organization “Student Professional Union,” Tofig Akberov, cast his ballot twice. This person is not even on the voters’ list at this precinct and is instead registered in another electoral precinct, namely #10. TI observer says that at the same precinct, another voter, Bakhlel Guseinov, and several other persons also cast their vote more than once.
Alleged voter bribery
Near the Electoral Precinct #1 of Dusheti’s #28 District Electoral Commission, TI observer noticed one person handing out money and voting cards to three other persons.
Interfering and pressuring observers
- At Electoral Precinct #13 of Marneuli’s #22 District Electoral Commission, TI observer was verbally insulted. At the same precinct, up to 50 people are mobilized in and outside of the precinct and there was huge tension.
- At Electoral Precinct #6 of Telavi’s #17 District Electoral Commission, members of the commission were interfering with TI observer in taking video, refusing to accept a complaint.
Violating secrecy of vote
At Electoral Precinct #33 of Poti’s #70 District Electoral Commission, a representative from the observing organization ‘Green Earth’ entered the voting booth together with a voter. The Chairperson did not react to this violation.
At Electoral Precinct #43 of Dmanisi’s #24 District Electoral Commission, one of the voters circled the candidate at the registration desk. The commission members did not intervene. Furthermore, one of the commission members at the same precinct was dictating a voter whom to vote for.
At Electoral Precinct #6 of Dmanisi’s #17 District Electoral Commission, a number of persons were standing within a 100-meter radius of the precinct, an observer from the observing organization ‘Center for Research of Public Opinion’ was following a voter into the voting booth. TI observer tried to videotape this fact, but the commission members interfered and threatened the observer with expulsion from the precinct.
Violating the 100-meter radius from the precinct
Party coordinators were observed outside of the precincts, including within the 100-meter radius. This is a violation based on new amendments to the Electoral Code. TI observers called the police when such incidents occurred, and in most cases, the problem was resolved.
The above cases provided by TI don’t reflect the full list of violations observed today, as there were other minor or relatively serious violations countrywide.
By Ana Dumbadze
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