The National Democratic Institute (NDI) has released recommendations ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections in Georgia.
The recommendations are based on an analysis of the work of the electoral administration, the campaign environment, gender and inclusion, media and disinformation, and the impact of the COVID-19.
NDI recommends that:
- Election and law enforcement authorities should swiftly investigate all instances of intimidation and electoral violence, as well as abuse of administrative resources and vote buying, and ensure that timely sanctioning of perpetrators serves to deter such violations in the immediate future
- Political parties and candidates should abide by the law and the Code of Conduct and ensure their supporters do not interfere with the campaign activities of their opponents. Parties should develop internal sanctions and a culture of accountability for violations of conduct commitments.
- Parties should make all efforts possible to provide adequate evidence to substantiate claims of electoral violations, abuse of state resources, or pressure and intimidation, and follow available procedures for seeking redress.
- More concerted efforts are required to ensure a clear separation between party and state, particularly social assistance progrrammes aimed at mitigating the pandemic’s impact.
- The Central Election Commission, the Interagency Commission for Free and Fair Elections, together with other state actors, must continue to ensure that the implementation of recent legal amendments results in genuine public confidence in their work and the electoral process.
- Citizen observer organisations should adhere to the Declaration of Global Principles for Nonpartisan Election Observation and Monitoring by Citizen Organisations and all stakeholders should respect the purpose of genuine, impartial citizen observation.
The analysis is based on interviews with key stakeholders conducted virtually by a team of eight international election experts who are paired with assistants based in Georgia.
NDI will continue to monitor the overall election process virtually until its conclusion and may offer further analysis and recommendations before issuing a comprehensive assessment shortly after the elections.