GYLA monitors are observing the staffing of precinct election commissions (PECs).
During the monitoring, we learned about possible existence of preliminary lists; according to the information we were provided with, when electing professional members of PECs, members of district election commissions (DECs) were presumably guided by the aforementioned lists. In connection with this, representatives of Free Democrats also made a statement. As representatives of the party explained to us, their members got hold of preliminary lists that are presumably kept in the DECs of Kobuleti, Senaki, Ozurgeti, and Dedoplistskaro and contain the names of Georgian Dream supporters and activists and their family members. They were the ones who were supposed to be elected to the PECs. According to information at our disposal, the local authorities, including representatives of heads of municipal administrations/town halls, were presumably actively involved in this process.
That the lists were not available for PEC members from opposition parties, as stated by representatives of Free Democrats, reinforces doubts that the professional members of the PECs were selected by political rather than professional criteria.
To further study the issue, representatives of GYLA requested additional documentation from the Central Election Commission and DECs, and we will provide the public with the study results in the nearest future.
We filed an application in the election administration regarding the problems and concrete cases revealed during the monitoring, in particular:
On August 22, 2016, by the decision of the Senaki District Election Commission No. 64, Ia Vakhania was appointed as a member of the Teklati Precinct Election Commission No. 63.64.25. According to the information at our disposal, Ms. Vakhania was not in Georgia at the time of applying to the DEC (August 8, 2016). Therefore, according to law, she was not authorized to apply to the DEC for the position of a PEC member.
By the August 23, 2016 Ordinance No. 4 of the Bagdati District Election Commission No. 52, the said DEC elected members of 74 PECs created in the Majoritarian Election District No. 51 for the parliamentary elections of October 8, 2016.
The Chairperson of the Kharagauli District Election Commission No. 48, by letter no. 77 of August 20, 2016, recommended candidates participating in the job competition for membership in PECs No. 51.48.01-No. 51.48.37 in the Majoritarian Election District No. 51 to the Chairperson of the Bagdati District Election Commission No. 52.
The list of members who were elected to 37 PECs (No. 51.48.01-No. 51.48.37) created for the October 8, 2016 elections in the Majoritarian Election District No. 51 by the August 23, 2016 Ordinance No. 4 of the Bagdati District Election Commission No. 52, essentially coincides with the list in the Appendix to the August 20, 2016 letter no. 77 of the Chairperson of the Kharagauli District Election Commission, which confirms that when making the decision, the Bagdati District Election Commission relied on the recommendation of the Kharagauli District Election Commission, whereas neither the Election Code of Georgia nor any norm issued by the CEC provide for a possibility for issuing such a recommendation.