ISFED: 2016 pre-election campaign features less physical confrontation than 2012

Turnout rates by 12 pm: 571,123 voters out of the 3,429,748 registered voters. Photo by Nino Alavidze/, 10 Sep 2016 - 14:36, Tbilisi,Georgia

One of the country’s leading non-governmental organisations says the current pre-election period leading up to next month's Parliamentary Elections is more peaceful and less violent than the 2012 pre-election period.

The International Society for Fair Elections and Democracy (ISFED) published its third interim report following it's pre-election monitoring ahead of the October 8 vote.

The NGO’s executive director Mikheil Benidze said there were "obvious better practices" in this year’s pre-election campaign environment where fewer violations had been reported than during the pre-election period of the 2012 Parliamentary Elections.

Benidze, however, said the improvement wasn’t hugely obvious compared to the 2014 Municipal Elections, which he believed could be explained by the idea that Parliamentary Elections were much important than regional elections.

In comparison with the 2012 pre-election campaigning period, there is an obvious tendency of general improvement now, but certain cases of violations are increasing as the election campaign progresses and becomes more active,” he noted.

Benidze stressed even though this pre-election campaign period was generally peaceful, it was still important to adequately react to individual cases of violations.

During the reporting period (August 8 - September 1) ISFED identified:

  • Eleven cases of intimidation/harassment allegedly based on political affiliation
  • Two cases of physical confrontation
  • One cases of possible vote buying
  • Five cases of participation of unauthorised individuals in canvassing
  • Four cases of unlawful use of administrative resources
  • Seven cases of obstruction of pre-election campaigning
  • Five cases of damaging campaigning materials

ISFED said these alleged violations were committed either by supporters of the ruling party and oppositional parties.

ISFED is carrying out pre-election monitoring in all electoral districts of Georgia through 68 long-term observers.