National democratic institute publishes their findings about the presidential elections in Georgia
29 November, 2018
National democratic institute publishes their findings about the presidential elections in Georgia
A delegation of the National Democratic Institute, which included observers from five countries, analyzed the election process. The delegation found that the election day proceeded in a largely orderly and calm manner. However, there were sporadic, but serious, incidents of multiple voting and manipulation of the count, both directly observed by NDI monitors.

The period ahead of the runoff was divisive and marked by violence and intimidation, reads the statement of the delegation. The campaign rhetoric grew more aggressive and hostile
between the two rounds, with messages of fear and threats of instability. The election lacked constructive debate on ideas, values, or visions for the presidency.


A constructive debate was lacking during the whole election process


Instead, election discourse, fueled by the main media broadcasters, intended to divide voters to extremes, depicting a decision between “nine bloody years of Saakashvili,” a reference to the former Georgian president, or “corrupt, inept rule of a billionaire oligarch,” referring to former prime minister and party chair Bidzina Ivanishvili. This left many Georgians, who dislike either extreme image, feeling politically dispossessed.

geotv.ge
Banners defaming the opponent were daily fare during the presidential elections

Read more: Welcome to the presidential election circus in Georgia

While Georgian Dream leaders became the literal face of the Zourabichvili campaign, many billboards featuring photos of Ivanishvili and other party leaders, Zourabichvili became less visible. At the same time, Saakashvili loomed large over the campaign, making daily media appearances and statements. It should be noted that Saakashvili, who is not a citizen of Georgia, is prohibited from campaigning.


Unprecedented case of vote buying


The report of the delegation stresses one event that took place only days ahead of the Election Day, the prime minister announced that approximately 600,000 people would have their loans forgiven, with the costs reportedly covered by the Cartu Foundation, established by Ivanishvili. There is a lack of clarity or transparency about aspects of the arrangement, and little is known about the decision process or finances of the foundation.

Read more: Unprecedented move by Cartu Group to nullify debts for 600 000 Georgian citizens

Several NGOs and other observers to state that the electoral purposes of the announcement were clear and thus represented an unprecedented case of vote buying. But this was no isolated case. Immediately following the first round of the election, government officials and GD leaders made almost daily announcements of state projects and promises of social spending.

geotv.ge
Prime Minister Bakhtadze announcing the debt cancellation for 600 000 citizens

According to the election code, the implementation of public projects or programs, or increases in welfare benefits, within 60 days of an election is prohibited unless allocated within the state budget prior to the 60-day period.


Several violent disorders were reported


The most serious incident in respect of used violence was the October 30 beating in Akhalkalaki of four UNM activists, who were hospitalized with serious injuries for several days. On the other side, Zourabichvili publicly reported that she and her family had received threats of violence against them via voice and text messages.

Furthermore, the delegation criticizes that the second runoff was held on a Wednesday. Several NGOs as well as opposition parties raised concerns that it would be difficult for Georgians living abroad to participate on a weekday. Also, a day might not be sufficient for some voters in Georgia to travel to their place of registration.

In its report the delegation offered a number of recommendations ahead of the 2020 parliamentary elections,

Related stories:

Welcome to the presidential election circus in Georgia

Unprecedented move by Cartu Group to nullify debts for 600 000 Georgian citizens

International media about the runoff presidential elections in Georgia

Print
Other Stories
Adam Kinzinger: I Strongly Support Georgia's Immediate NATO Membership
Congressman Adam Kinzinger, Chairman of the Georgian Caucus of Congress, is one of the main authors of critical letters received by the Georgian government in recent months.
Matthew Bryza: "I think it’s a shame if Georgia doesn’t participate in this digital hub project"
Matthew Bryza worries new telecommunications law targets Caucasus Online and will block major investments that could make Georgia the strategic center of a “digital silk road”
Czech Ambassador: “Georgia among the best countries worldwide when it comes to combating Covid 19”
"Czech contribution in monitoring COVID-19 in Georgia was invaluable and hugely important” - Georgia’s Health Minister Ekaterine Tikaradze praised the Czech Republic’s contribution during Friday meeting with the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Georgia, H.E. Petr Mikyska as the Georgian and Czech sides met to discuss various aspects of joint collaboration.
Russian MFA Statement About Lugar Research Center-Another Disinformation
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia responds to the statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding Lugar's laboratory.
UN Human Rights Council Adopts Resolution On Occupied Territories Of Georgia
The UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on the occupied territories of Georgia - "Cooperation with Georgia" within the framework of its 43rd session.
Kurt Volker about 20th of June: People Can’t Forget That
Given that one year has passed since June 20, 2019, it is interesting to see how the West assesses the developments in Georgia during this one year and what expectations it has for the October parliamentary elections.
Eastern Partnership Beyond 2020- Context and Expectations
The Eastern Partnership (EaP) marked its 10th anniversary in 2019. The round dates always come with reflections and new resolutions for the future.
"8 March Agreement Is Very important For Georgian Democracy"-Carl Hartzell
The 8th March agreement concerned not only the change in the electoral system but justice and the impermissibility of political partiality in electoral processes, - stated the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia, Carl Hartzell during his video broadcast.
Donald Trump Congratulates Georgia on Independence Day
The President of the United States of America Donald Trump sent a letter of congratulations to the Prime Minister of Georgia Giorgi Gakharia on Independence Day.
US Ambassador Congratulating Georgia on the Independence Day
US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan has congratulated Georgia on the Independence Day.
Georgia's President Warns Covid-19 Crisis Could Trigger Russian Aggression
Georgia’s president has warned that Russia’s struggle to contain the spread of coronavirus and an economic crisis compounded by an oil price collapse risk is triggering new Kremlin aggression beyond its borders, - reads an article published by Financial Times.
Creation of Maps Violating Georgia's Territorial Integrity To be Considered Illegal
Production, advertising, use, and transportation of maps and other objects reflecting the violation of the principle of territorial integrity of Georgia will be considered as an illegal act.
Turkey Starts Accepting Health Tourists From Georgia
Turkey has started accepting foreign patients from several countries, including from Georgia.
Georgia Has The Greatest Support In the World From EU-Carl Hartzell
A true friend is known to be in trouble, and we have proved that we are true friends, ”-EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzel said during an online meeting with members of the European Business Association.
The EU Council Has Approved a Package of Financial Assistance to Georgia
The Council of the European Union (EU) has approved a package of emergency macro-financial assistance for 10 countries as part of its Neighborhood and Enlargement Policy.
The US Ambassador Stresses The Importance of Fair Judiciary System
We would like to see more American companies invest in Georgia and more Georgian companies in the United States said US Ambassador Kelly Degnan during a virtual press conference.
"One More Political Prisoner Is Still Waiting To Be Released"-McAllister
The MEPs expressed their opinions about the political situation in Georgia at the discussion of the report on the implementation of the Association Agreement between the EU and Georgia.
Promoting Georgia As a Safe Destination For Tourism
“Georgia – a safe destination” is a message that Georgian diplomats should send to people in their countries, - Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia said while talking to Georgian ambassadors abroad via a video conference today.
UN To Allocate USD 1 Million To Support COVID-19 Crisis in Georgia
The United Nations will allocate USD 1 million for Georgia to help the country better respond to the immediate health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the most vulnerable groups from the devastating socio-economic impacts of the health crisis.
U.S. Senators Express Concern Over The Expulsion of American Businesses From Georgia
U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, Congressmen Judy Arrington, and Markwayne Mullin have written to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, expressing concern over the expulsion of U.S. companies and businesses from Georgia.
European Parliament Approves €150 Million Aid For Georgia
The European Parliament on Friday approved €3 billion in loans to help EU neighbors and partner countries deal with the fallout of COVID-19.
MEPs and U.S Senators Welcome the Pardon of Opposition Politicians
Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili announced yesterday that she was pardoning Georgian opposition politicians Gigi Ugulava and Irakli Okruashvili, which she said was ‘a very difficult decision’.
The Presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia Received a High Assessment
According to the Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia, the presidency of the Council of Europe of Georgia had a very high assessment at the international level.
Coronavirus Crisis is an Opportunity to Deepen Relations With the EU-Salome Zourabichvili
The President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili talked to the President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinistö on March 14.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
28.09.2020
29.09.2020
USD
1
USD
3.3332
3.3203
EUR
1
EUR
3.8812
3.8708
GBP
1
GBP
4.2365
4.2819
RUB
100
RUB
4.2875
4.2140
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
USD
1
USD
3.3203
EUR
1
EUR
3.8708
GBP
1
GBP
4.2819
RUB
100
RUB
4.2140