TBILISI, DFWatch – A new survey shows that there has been a worrying trend in the election campaign in Georgia with a growing number of violations.
International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) presented their fifth monitoring report.
ISFED studied the election environment from 1 to 26 August and found 10 cases of pressure against activists of political parties possibly for political reasons, 15 cases of physical abuse — 7 of them against journalists — and 4 cases of someone being fired for political reasons, 4 cases of obstruction of an observer organization, 31 cases of using administrative resources for election purposes.
The opposition coalition Georgian Dream was planning to participate in the elections with the number seven on the ballot. The political party had made all its campaign material with this number, but then they were denied to register under the number seven. Representatives of the coalition says the Central Election Commission violated their rights, and now Georgian Dream has to use the number 41 on ballot papers.
One member of Georgian Dream who was working at United Security was fired for political reasons. Vano Natsarashvili claims that three weeks earlier, representatives of the security service and the police came to him and requested that he leave the opposition coalition, otherwise he would lose his job. On May 30 Vano was told that he was fired because of downsizing.
Two other persons were fired along with Vano for the same reason, but the company rehired them after some time.
ISFED claims that local government refused them access to some public information needed for the research and was referred to the website www.gov.ge which provided insufficient information and data. The report mentions several cases of disturbing the regional observers of ISFED.
ISFED calls on the interagency commission to study these cases. “Otherwise, this will be rated negative and will find a place in the next monitoring report of our organization,” said Nino Lomjaria, the head of ISFED.