Tamar Zhvania Appointed as the New Chairperson of the CEC

The CEC has a new chairperson. Zurab Kharatishvili was replaced by Tamar Zhvania by members of the CEC. 

Voting was finished on September 11 at the CEC and Tamar Zhvania received unanimous support from all six members of the commission. 

Position of the CEC chairperson became vacant several weeks ago after Zurab Kharatishvili announced about his resignation. 

Tamar Zhvania’s candidacy was nominated before the President of Georgia by non-governmental organizations specializing in elections. 

The President of Georgia nominated three candidates for the position of CEC chairperson on September 9. In addition of Tamar Zhvania the president also nominated candidacies of Manuchar Gamkrelidze and Konstantine Amirajibi. 
Prior to her appointment as the CEC Chairperson Tamar Zhvania served as project manager for the UNDP project Promotion of Credible and Sustainable Electoral Institutes and Processes.

“She has an extensive experience in working in responsible positions specializing in elections. Over the last five years she was team leader for elections for UNDP Georgia, managing joint EU and UNDP projects. She has experience in working on elections-related issues abroad, including as an international program manager for the National Democratic Institute. She served as a representative of international monitoring missions in various countries on behalf of the OSCE/ODIHR, NDI and Norwegian Institute of International Affairs. She has been working in civil sector since 2000. In 2004-2007 she served as an executive director of the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy. 

She is a fully accredited facilitator of the Building Resources in Democracy, Governance and Elections (BRIDGE) program. She has participated in various international trainings, projects and researches. 

NGOs were guided by the following criteria in selection of candidate: extensive experience of working in local and international organizations on elections-related issues, good knowledge of specificities of the work of election administration, track record of non-partisanship and certain personal qualities, including being a person of principle and objectivity. The organizations believe that Ms. Tamar Zhvania fully meets the candidacy criteria. 

The NGOs realize the responsibility that falls on the shoulders of monitoring organizations nominating candidacy for the position of CEC chairperson, considering that we will actively continue monitoring of the election administration without refraining from severe criticism when needed. We believe that the candidate is able to accept critical comments and stand ready to cooperate both with political forces and NGO sector in challenging situations. 

We believe that Tamar Zhvania fulfills criteria for the position of CEC chairperson and remain hopeful that similar to the president of Georgia the ruling party will also express its political will to support the candidate nominated by us when making the choice,” -  said the statement signed by NGOs specializing in elections-related matters.

Below is the list of signatories: 

International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy
Transparency International – Georgia
Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association
Human Rights Education and Monitoring Center
Open Society – Georgia Foundation
Article 42 of the Constitution
Multinational Georgia
Coalition for Civil Development
The Center for Development and Democracy
Georgian Democratic Initiative
Center for the Development of Election Environment
Multi-ethnic Resource Center for Civil Education
Trade Union for Vocational Training
International Center for Civil Culture
Human Rights Center