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2021-10-30 17:25
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Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association, within the framework of the Short-Term Observation (STO) Mission, provides the public with information about the main findings during a second round of the local self-government elections as of 4 PM.  Based on the information collected by the GYLA’s observers, we address the issues related to the election environment and violations recorded both inside the polling stations and nearby perimeters.

The tendency of the first round continues, reflected in the creation of obstacles for GYLA observers at some polling stations, by both Commission members and other observer organizations:

  • In Rustavi #20 precinct, the registrar was recording the voter’s queue numbers. Regardless of the several verbal remarks, the chair of the commission did not act accordingly. GYLA observer recorded a remark in the polling day-log book after which he/she was verbally assaulted by members of the commission;
  • In Senaki #41 precinct, despite the numerous requests, the chair and secretary of the commission are preventing the GYLA observer from performing his/her duties properly and are not allowing him/her to get to know the polling day-log book;
  • In Senaki #13, #14, and #72 precincts, GYLA observers are deprived of the opportunity to move and conduct observation freely.

In addition to that, GYLA observed the procedural violations, which are as follows:

  • In Rustavi #50 precinct, the registrar was recording declared queue numbers of voters in the desk list;
  • In Martvili #35 precinct, the chair of the commission accompanied a voter into the polling booth and witnessed the process of voting, claiming that the citizen needed assistance.
  • In Nadzaladevi #74 precinct, a certain number of unused ballots were missing in the returned mobile ballot box. In particular, 35 ballots out of 40 were used, while 3 out remaining 5 were lost.

In a number of cases, GYLA’s observers identified violations that were corrected after verbal or written remarks. For example, non-compliance with inking rules, control over the will of voters, return of the mobile ballot box in an unsealed condition, improper placement of publicly published documents (rules for filling and annulling the ballot, data of demonstration protocol, list of voters for mobile ballot box), taking photos/videos which allows identifying voters, the presence of unauthorized persons at the polling station.

Important to note, similarly to the first round of the elections, there is a tendency of intimidating journalists and hindering media activities. Several cases have been recorded where media representatives were verbally and physically assaulted. Consequently, they were deprived of the right to conduct their professional activities properly.

As of 4 pm, considering the identified violations, GYLA observers had filed 17 complaints and recorded 9 remarks.

Short-Term Observation (STO) Mission of Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association (GYLA) on Election Day

Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association Short-Term Observation (STO) Mission during the second round of the Local Self-Government Elections on October 30 consists of 300 observers in distinct and precinct election commissions covering 9 municipalities across the country.

On Election Day, GYLA operates a hotline number for the citizens, which enables them to receive legal consultations as well as any information regarding electoral procedures, violations on the polling day, and the ways of responding to them.

The hotline number is: 577 36 15 20

GYLA will hold three press conferences regarding the process of Election Day observation at the NGO Media Center during the day. The press conferences will be held at 12:00, 16:30, and 21:00. On October 31, at 12 PM, GYLA will finalize its observation findings for the second round of the elections.

GYLA’s monitoring mission on the voting day of the Local-self Government elections was made possible with the funding of the British Embassy and Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF). The opinions expressed in the statement are those of the Georgian Young Lawyers’ Association and its content may not express the views of the donor organization.