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Monday, October 03, 2005

 

Report on Georgian by-elections

Georgia's main election-monitoring group, The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy, has issued a preliminary report on Saturday's by-elections:


Despite some irregularities, there is a compelling reason for stating that the October 1 parliamentary rerun
and by-elections were fair. On Election Day, the election administration showed a will to ensure the
implementation of voting procedures as prescribed by the law.

Nevertheless, we would like to point to those irregularities that accompanied the administration of October
1 elections:

Although the accuracy of voter lists was one of the pre-election period priorities, and some work was
undertaken to improve them, it must be noted that voter lists remained to be the main problem in October
1 elections.

The problems associated with voter lists can be divided in three categories:

Ø Dozens of voters were absent from voter lists in various election precincts. Thus, these citizens
could not exercise their constitutional right to vote.
Ø Voters who belonged to various election precincts were wrongly entered in the lists of different
election precincts;
Ø Voters were registered in the lists of an election precinct twice; other inconsistencies regarding the
voters’ data was also note in the voter lists.

Difficulties in the implementation of voting procedures were also prompted by the problems related to the
Election Code. The sporadic changes to the law have created a situation where the implementation of
various voting procedures is impossible; also, there are mutually exclusive definitions, as well as
ambiguous clauses, which allow for multiple interpretations. Therefore, it is clear that The Unified
Election Code of Georgia requires comprehensive amendments and refinement.

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