2013 Mission to Georgia (Presidential Elections)

The group of short-term international observers from Belarus Watch, presented preliminary results of the observation of the presidential election in Georgia on 27 October 2013. Observers visited 205 polling stations across the country. The conduct of election on the election day was positively assessed although minor irregularities took place.

The election day was carried out in a calm and orderly manner. The procedures were well followed in the majority of cases. Observers were granted full access to the process and were able to inspect all the election materials upon request. The polling commissions provided comprehensive information to the observers. Counting was marked by professionalism of the commissions and transparency of the process to the members authorized to be present at a polling station.

The commission members and other authorized persons at the polling station were easily identifiable due to the presence of CEC issued accreditation document and a requirement to wear it at a polling station. In general, the commissions and local observers were in good relations with each other and acted with the aim to secure the elections according to the legislation.

Several violations and irregularities were observed however they could not have affected the integrity and overall result of elections and were a result of the lack of knowledge rather than intention of the voters or commission members.

Although the majority of the electoral commissions demonstrated a good command of procedures, during opening and counting the order of procedures was breached in two cases.

The lack of detailed description of the inkling of voter’s finger resulted in varying practice of applying and checking the ink. The ink was applied to different fingers; sometimes only one finger was checked. In several cases the inking procedure was skipped at all.  

Often the amount of people present at the register table was more than two which does not go in line with the requirements of the Georgian law.

Unauthorized persons were detected in several instances during voting and counting.

Although the role of domestic observer is active, in some of the observed polling commissions observers were fulfilling the functions of the commission members.

Two cases of a ballot thrown in the ballot box without an envelope were observed.

One case of agitation on the polling station was observed when a ballot example placed in the booth was pre-marked for Davit Bakradze.

Despite the mentioned irregularities, the election day was conducted professionally and calmly in accordance with international and national laws and regulations.

The mission is deployed within the framework of the international project "Election Observation: Theory and Practice" which is implemented by Belarus Watch in partnership with European Humanities University (EHU) and Belarusian Human Rights House in Vilnius. The observers are activists of various Belarusian NGOs, journalists and students.