Observers of the organizations have reported that in several regions municipal officials are instructing directors and employees of non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities that receive funding from the Budget to mobilize supporters of Salome Zourabishvili and to provide certain individuals with lists of potential supporters.
According to observers, employees of the non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities are required to fill out special pre-made forms with personal information of their family members, by indicating their name, surname, personal number, number of electoral precinct and their relationship with these individuals.
In interviews with observers, employees of non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities have stated that under the instructions of municipal officials they have been provided with special forms that each should fill out with personal information of ten supporters. They have also stated that lists are prepared in order for the presidential candidate endorsed by the Georgian Dream, Salome Zourabichvili to win in the first round of the presidential election. According to employees of non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities, previous authorities also required them to prepare such lists.
Employees of a non-profit (non-commercial) legal entity in Samegrelo interviewed by observers of the organizations said they fear that if they openly discuss this fact they will be dismissed from work.
The foregoing actions contain elements of coercion and pressure, and also amount to use of administrative resources in favor of the presidential candidate supported by the ruling party, which runs against the electoral legislation. In particular, the Election Code prohibits getting any career subordinate or otherwise dependent person involved in an activity that may support to presentation and/or election of a candidate. These actions also violate the Order of the Government of Georgia dated August 29, 2018, for avoiding use of administrative resources during the time of election campaign, reminding civil servants of restrictions imposed on them by the electoral legislation.
The organizations possess evidence that proves credibility of these reports, however in order to protect labor rights and personal information of employees of non-profit (non-commercial) legal entities and their family members, the organizations choose not to disclose the evidence at this time.
In light of the foregoing, we urge:
- municipal officials and the ruling political force, not to use administrative resources for the election;
- employees of institutions funded by the Budget, to refuse to follow party instructions and openly discuss such facts, if any.
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA)
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED)
Transparency International - Georgia