April 27, 2013 Parliamentary By-Elections Statement #1

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) observers the parliamentary by- elections in all three electoral districts through mobile teams, district election commission observers and 60 short-term observers at the polling stations. SMS and incident centers operate at the central office where the observers transmit information regarding the Election Day process and detected violations. Besides, ordinary citizens can also submit text messages to the toll-free SMS number 90039 should they identify any electoral violations.

Main Findings
In this statement ISFED presents information regarding opening of the precincts and start of voting process.

The majority of the electoral precincts opened on time. During opening of the precincts, there were no significant and wide-scale violations at the majority of the precincts. All of the organization’s observers were admitted to the precincts for observation. According to our data, out of the 60 polling stations of the three districts, minor irregularities of precinct opening procedures occurred at 11 polling stations. All precincts where ISFED observers are stationed were ready to receive first voters at 8:00 am. In all three districts the voting started mainly on time and until now voters are free to exercise their right to vote.

Major Violations
At this point three cases of violations have been identified by ISFED observers:
• 2  cases  of  improper  processing  (filling)  of  electoral  documentation  in  Nadzaladevi  #31  and Samtredia #16 polling stations. The organization has already submitted complaints to the relevant precinct election commissions.
• Deputy Gamgebeli of Tskaltubo was present at Bagdati #13 polling station with a status of NGO observer. This is a violation of the Article 39 paragraph 4 of the Election Code, according to which a head or a deputy head of local self-government executive body may not be registered as an observer. ISFED has already informed the Central Election Commission (CEC) about this violation and will submit a complaint with the request to annul the accreditation.

ISFED  once  again  encourages  the  voters,  registered  in  Nadzaladevi,  Bagdati,  and  Samtredia,  to participate in the elections and freely express their will in favor of the candidate they support.

April 27, 2013
11:00 am