Pre-Term Elections of Gardabani Gamgebeli: Evaluation of Voting Process

Observers of the International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy monitored pre-term elections of Gardabani Gamgebeli held on January 28, 2016. 

ISFED’s observers reported that opening and closing of polling stations as well as the polling process was mostly peaceful, with the exception of several cases of confrontation outside of polling stations. Procedural violations were detected at some electoral precincts. 

Acts of confrontation outside polling stations

Confrontation occurred between unidentified individuals outside polling station no.2; in particular, someone threw a stone at a vehicle parked near the polling station and tried to damage journalists’ camera. The situation deescalated after police took aggressors away from the police station.   

A physical confrontation occurred between unidentified individuals outside polling station no.4. The situation deescalated after other individuals at the station interfered. Notably, police did not arrive to respond to the incident. 

Procedural violations

At polling station no.31 observers interfered with the work of the precinct commission. In particular, representatives of the following NGOs – International Network for Civil Development, ALLMEDIA Agency, Young Initiators’ Club, Anti-Corruption Media Center, Free Zone - assumed functions of commission members by telling voters which booth to enter, etc. 

At special precinct no.64 in Vaziani Military Base we identified three instances where voters were told to place their signatures along other voter’s name. Members of the commission had to draw up explanatory statements about the violations. ISFED’s observer recorded two subsequent reproofs in the logbook. 

At electoral precinct no.31 we identified three cases of voter signatures missing from the signature box and one case where signatures of both voter and registrar were missing from their respective signature boxes. ISFED’s observer filed complaints with precinct and district electoral commissions. 

Important Facts

Organized movement of individuals wearing veils and hats outside polling stations was reported throughout the day. ISFED’s observers detected such movement outside electoral precinct no.52. The said fact is important because it seemed that these individuals who were hiding their identity on purpose were trying to control the situation at precinct premises (ISFED recorded plate numbers of one of the vehicles).