Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association within the framework of the Short-term Observation (STO) Mission provides the public with information about the observation results of the October 2 elections as of 3 PM. Based on the information collected by the GYLA’s observers, we address the issues related to the election environment and violations recorded both inside the polling stations and in their nearby perimeters.
Considering the recent amendments to the election legislation, GYLA pays special attention to the situation around the polling stations, in particular, the regulation that prohibits the control over the will of voters within 100 meters. Until now, the control over the will of voters remains to be a challenge. In 14 cases, the GYLA’s observers had to call the police in order to respond to these violations. For example, in Kutaisi #63 and #90 precincts, the police did not arrive. Whilst at certain occasions, they appeared but did not take relevant action, even though it is obvious that the polling stations were overcrowded around the perimeter.
As part of the monitoring, some violations were identified, with respect to which complaints were filed or remarks were noted in the voting day record book by GYLA`s observers. These violations include breaching of inking rules, failure to fill out demonstration protocols properly, voting without appropriate documents, exchanging assigned functions between the members of the commission arbitrarily, processing personal data inside the polling station and, non-compliance with Covid-19 related regulations.
At Marneuli #7 polling station, GYLA’s observer identified the fact of staffing the main ballot box with ballot envelopes (for now, we do not have information on whether there were ballots in the envelopes). GYLA responded to this incident by filing the complaint and demanding a recount.
In certain polling stations, GYLA’s observers faced pressure and were deprived of an opportunity to carry out their activities properly. More specifically:
- In Batumi #44 precinct GYLA`s observer Temur Iremadze was threatened near the polling station by an unknown person. GYLA appealed to the Ministry of Internal Affairs over this incident.
- In Chughureti #16 precinct GYLA’s observer was verbally assaulted after he/she noticed a mobilized group of people around the polling station and started photo/video recording.
- In Isani #64 precinct GYLA’s observer was unjustifiably expelled from the polling station following his/her attempt to depict the improper arrangement of polling rooms through photos/video recording.
- In Vake #4 precinct GYLA’s observer was not allowed to submit a complaint, the chairman of the election commission ripped up the complaint and expelled the author (GYLA’s observer) from the polling station.
- In Zugdidi #90 precinct GYLA’s observer was restricted from recording video and was expelled from the polling station.
By 3 PM, considering the identified violations, GYLA`s observers had filed and written more than 51 complaints and remarks throughout the day.
Short-Term Observation (STO) Mission of Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) on Election Day
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Short-Term Observation (STO) Mission on October 2 Local Self-Government Elections consists of 350 observers in distinct and precinct election commissions in 10 municipalities of 8 regions across the country.
On Election Day GYLA operates a hotline number for the citizens which enables them to receive legal consultations as well as any information regarding electoral procedures, violations on the polling day, and the ways of responding to them.
The hotline number is: 577 36 15 20
GYLA will hold three press conferences regarding the process of Election Day observation at the NGO Media Center during the day. The press conferences will be held at 11:00, 16:00, and 21:00. On October 3, GYLA will finalize its observation findings at 12 PM.
GYLA’s monitoring mission on the voting day of the Local-self Government elections was made possible with the funding of the British Embassy. The opinions expressed in the statement are those of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and its content may not express the views of the donor organization.