IRI Releases Georgia Technical Assessment Mission Final Report

Published in Society
Friday, 12 March 2021 12:43
RI Final Election Report Reveals Increased Participation, Need for Continued Reforms.
Tbilisi, Georgia – Demonstrating its support for Georgia’s recent democratic advancements, the International Republican Institute (IRI) organized a Technical Election Assessment Mission (TEAM) to assess the country’s parliamentary elections in October 2020. Drawing from expert observations before, during and after Election Day, IRI has released its final report, informed by six long-term analysts (LTAs) deployed to Georgia between September and November 2020.
“This October, Georgians took to the polls for the first time since passing key reforms to enhance the transparency and competition of future elections,” said IRI Regional Director for Eurasia Stephen Nix. “Though far from perfect, the reforms marked a milestone for Georgia and brought forth a more democratic and pluralistic pre-election period than in years past.”
During the mission, the LTAs engaged with government officials, political parties, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and election-commission officials to assess the election administration, campaign environment, legal framework, political inclusion and media space. Ultimately, the mission observed an electoral process that was mostly peaceful and competitive, and more politically diverse and transparent than previous parliamentary elections.
However, IRI’s TEAM report also found that though the Central Election Commission achieved success in educating and mobilizing voters amidst COVID-19, there were administration issues that impeded the integrity of the process. In addition, though voter turnout saw a marked increase since the 2016 elections, other irregularities did emerge during the electoral process.
The mission urges Georgian stakeholders to consolidate the democratic gains made prior to the 2020 elections by addressing the shortcomings identified by international observers and prioritize their recommendations.
 
Follow the link for the full report: https://bit.ly/3v92Er7
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    The Head of the Parliamentary Delegation to PACEKakha Kutchava stated that the ruling party is committed to cooperating with every party to ensure the improvement of the standards of the administration of the elections.

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    We hail the mostly positive assessments made by the international society clearly underlining that “Parliamentary Elections of October 31 were competitive and the fundamental freedoms were adhered to”.

    Despite this, a series of gaps have been still detected. We appreciate the report by Mr. Kox and affirm our commitment to adequately respond to the gaps identified by his mission, including the financing of the electoral campaign, which is the subject of interest of PACE and international monitors after the Presidential Elections 2018. Engagement of our international partners in this process is very important and we expect certain recommendations”.

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