ISFED 2nd By-Election Statement 4:00pm

 International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy

 April 27, 2013 Parliamentary By-Elections


 Second Statement

 April 27, 2013; 4:00 pm


 The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) continues  observation of the parliamentary by-elections in three electoral districts of Georgia.  The  organization already issued the first statement at 11:00 am. This statement  summarizes  information regarding processes ongoing after 11:00am. 


 Main Findings

 According to ISFED, Election Day maintains to be carried out in an organized manner  and continues to fall within the frame of procedures prescribed by law. Voting process  remains to be calm and voters are free to exercise their right to vote. However, several  violations have been identified in some precincts regarding mobile boxes and presence  of unauthorized persons at polling stations.


 Major Violations

 At this point, ISFED brings up the following important information on violations that will  also be submitted to the relevant election administration in complaints: 

  §  ISFED observer has identified yet another case when a local official was present at a  polling station as an observer. This time, Deputy Chairperson of Tskaltubo Sakrebulo  (council) was observing voting process as a representative of non-governmental  organization Momavlis Archevani at Bagdati #12 polling station. This is a violation of  the Article 39 paragraph 4 of the Election Code, according to which a member of local  self-government representative body (Sakrebulo) may not be registered as an  observer. ISFED has already identified the violation in the record book at the polling  station and informed the Central Election Commission.

       Mobile ballot box was annulled in Samtredia #21 polling station based on ISFED  complaint. The mobile box was returned to the precinct without any signatures in the  appropriate voters’ list.

       Additionally, ISFED observers identified a noteworthy circumstance – in all three  districts the list of candidates posted in the polling stations bear a watermark  “Majoritarian Candidates” (in Georgian). Electoral numbers of certain candidates are  circled by graphic image of the watermark, that might be visually perceived as agitation  in favor of a particular candidate (please see the attached photo materials). It is  possible that this is not done intentionally, however some candidates and observers  deemed it to be a hint to reference certain majoritarian candidates. To avoid  misinterpretation, we believe, such visual details should be taken into consideration  when designing demonstration materials.

 The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) observes 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.